Apiculture: A Successful Venture in Enhancing the Farmer’s Income in Hamirpur District of Bundelkhand Region

Bundelkhand, a Semi-Arid Region in Central India, is characterized by the poor human development indicators and degraded status of natural resources. The agriculture is the mainstay of the Bundelkhand economy with 90% of the population being dependent on agriculture that is under about 75% Rainfed. About 67% of the farmers in the region are small and marginal, having less than 2.0 ha. of land.

Apiculture: A Successful Venture in Enhancing the Farmer’s Income in Hamirpur District of Bundelkhand Region  Apiculture: A Successful Venture in Enhancing the Farmer’s Income in Hamirpur District of Bundelkhand Region

The Hamirpur District is a part of Chitrakoot Dham Division of Uttar Pradesh. The District’s climate is characterized by an intensely hot summer and a pleasant cold season. During the summer, the maximum and minimum temperatures are about 430 C and 280 C respectively, however, during the winter sometimes it drops down to about 20 C or 30 C (Source: District Gazetteer).

On conducting a baseline survey in the District, the team of Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Hamirpur and Banda University of Agriculture and Technology, Banda, Uttar Pradesh found that the field crops like Sesame, Sorghum, Perl millet, Toria, Mustard, Berseem, Sunflower & Caster etc., horticultural crops namely - Sweet Lime, Lemon, Guava, Aonla, Papaya & Cucurbits, etc.; forest crops - Babool, Sisso, Karanj, Arjuna, Neem, Acacia, Palas, Eucalyptus & Moringa, etc. and spices - Coriander, Fennel / Anise, Onion and Fenugreek, etc., are successfully grown in the District.

Apiculture: A Successful Venture in Enhancing the Farmer’s Income in Hamirpur District of Bundelkhand Region  Apiculture: A Successful Venture in Enhancing the Farmer’s Income in Hamirpur District of Bundelkhand Region  Apiculture: A Successful Venture in Enhancing the Farmer’s Income in Hamirpur District of Bundelkhand Region

The possibility for the development of Beekeeping in the Hamirpur District of Bundelkhand Region is tremendous due to its existing environmental conditions and existing cropping patterns. Keeping this in mind, the team prepared and submitted a Project proposal entitled - “Entrepreneurial Start-Up of Apiculture: A Vital Input for Doubling Farmers’ Income in Bundelkhand (Uttar Pradesh)” to the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) RAFTAAR (Remunerative Approaches for Agriculture and Allied Sector Rejuvenation), Uttar Pradesh.

The Project was implemented in partnerships with the farming communities and the selection of farmers especially, the Rural Youths / School Dropouts were done on the basis of their need and interest for the objectives of the Project by using the various tools and techniques of Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA). The Farmers’ Interest Group (FIG) was formed with the selected farmers / rural youths / school dropouts at the village level. A total of 7 FIGs were formed in the District and capacity building & hand holding support was provided to attract and motivate them towards Apiculture as an income generation venture. The team conducted the Frontline Demonstration (FLD) on the Scientific Beekeeping with FIGs and provided them with the Skill Development Training on the principle of learning by doing and seeing by believing, honeybee hive and basic tools.

The site for Apiary at the places free from water-logging and direct hot air during the summer and the source of drinking water was selected. The Honeybee Colonies were shifted in a scientific manner at the selected site. The team also provided the FIGs’ Members with the time-to-time scientific advisories on Apiary Management.

  • The Apiculture Unit produced several Hive products instead of serving as Pollination Agent inenvironment:
  • The maximum Honey of 146 Kgs and Bee Pollen of 63 Kgs were harvested by the FIGs in HamirpurDistrictof Bundelkhand Region.

The maximum increased population of Honeybees was recorded as 180 Frames, however, the minimum population was 80 Frames only in the District.

The average operational cost of about Rs. 25,017/- per Unit of 50 Colonies occurred in maintaining the Apiary in Hamirpur District. The maximum and minimum variable costs were recorded as Rs. 28,750/- and Rs. 21,950/-, respectively.

  • About Rs. 83,112/- per Unit Average Gross Return was obtained from Apiculture having 50 Colonies. The maximum and minimum returns were recorded as Rs. 1,00,887/- and Rs. 71,475/-, respectively.
  • The netreturn from Beekeeping UnitinHamirpurDistrict wasfoundRs.51,780.0 to72,137.0, whichincludesreturn obtainedfromHoney, Pollen andHoneybees.

On the basis of operational cost only, the benefit: cost ratio of this unit was computed and was found to range between 2.0 and 2.5.

On jointly assessing the performance of Apiculture in Hamirpur, the Team Members and Group of Partners / Farmers found the climatic conditions prevailing in the District are comparatively more favorable for multiplication and survival of the Honeybees. The economics of Apiculture Units revealed that the Good Beekeeping Practices (GBPs) in the region may enhance the farming communities’ income as well.

(Source: Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Hamirpur, Uttar Pradesh)