India’s first honey testing laboratory at NDDB, Anand

Integrating beekeeping with dairy cooperatives

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Photo by Alexander Mils on Unsplash

Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, inaugurated NDDB’s hi-tech honey testing laboratory and beekeeping training program for dairy farmers at National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), Anand on 24 July 2020.

NABL accredited honey testing laboratory

NDDB is committed to augmenting dairy farmers’ income through allied activities. According to the press release, this honey testing facility has come up as part of its multi-disciplinary laboratory – CALF. This is the only accredited laboratory in the country which can test honey sample as per FSSAI’s latest regulation of 1 July 2020 (as on date) by undertaking authenticity testing by using sophisticated analytical instruments and wet chemical analysis. This NABL accredited laboratory can also test honey as per the BIS requirements, AGMARK, Codex standards, and Residue Monitoring Plan (RMP) of Export Inspection Council covering pesticides, antibiotics, heavy metals, and wet chemical testing.

Tomar congratulated ministry officials for collaborating with NDDB and successfully establishing a world-class honey testing facility at Anand. The Union Minister said, “We need to focus on the benefits of beekeeping and its impact on farmers’ cultivation and income. The income generated through honey production should contribute to the GDP of the nation.”

He said that the Government of India is committed to doubling farmers’ income. He mentioned Govt of India’s Rs 500 crore beekeeping initiative fund under Aatmanirbhar Bharat for infrastructure development related to beekeeping, including income generation and capacity building of beekeepers with thrust on women.”

Giriraj Singh, Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying said, “Development of beekeeping will generate employment in rural India and augment the income of farmers. Beekeeping acts as a catalyst in increasing yield of agricultural and horticultural crops in the country through cross-pollination. Honey bees are vital in sustaining plant biodiversity.”

He said that the authenticity of honey had become a serious issue as suppliers indulge in unethical practices for economic gains. The testing facility at NDDB will help honey farmers, cooperatives, and honey industries produce quality honey for domestic consumption and export by meeting regulatory requirements.

Dilip Rath said, “NDDB and NBB initiated the drive to promote scientific beekeeping among farmers by utilizing the dairy cooperative network in the country. This state-of-the-art laboratory has been established with the Agriculture Ministry’s financial assistance. All the facilities and services related to testing of honey are now available in one place. From time to time, our Hon’ble prime minister called for promoting the honey industry in the country and bringing a ‘Sweet Revolution’ on the lines of ‘White Revolution’.”

Dairy cooperatives can establish a value chain for honey alike dairies. Milk unions of Banaskantha (Gujarat), Sundarban (West Bengal) and Muzaffarpur (Bihar) are using their infrastructure for procurement and marketing of honey and Banas, Sudha and Sundarini brands are providing quality honey to its customers. Under National Bee Keeping & Honey Mission, an essential part of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat, NDDB is committed to the program and has been designated as the implementing agency.

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