New Delhi, July 24 (News Time): Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar today inaugurated the ‘World Class State of Art Honey Testing Laboratory’ established by National Dairy Development Board (NDDB)in Anand(Gujarat) with support of National Bee Board (NBB), through Video Conference in the presence of Giriraj Singh, Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Parshottam Rupala and Kailash Choudhary, Union Ministers of State for Agriculture, Dr. Sanjeev Kumar Balyan, Union Minister of State (FAH&D)and senior officers of the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare and Department of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying.

On this occasion, the Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and mentioned his vision to bring sweet revolution in the country by encouraging a large number of farmers for the production and marketing of Honey and earn more profit in agriculture. Addressing the meeting through VC, he stated that the Government is committed to increasing the income of farmers and the Bee-keeping enterprise has to play a major role in supplementing the income of farmers. He further informed that the Ministry has taken up several activities to promote beekeeping under ‘Mission on Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH)’ ‘National Mission for Beekeeping’being implemented through National Bee Board and the States.

Tomar expressed the need to focus on imparting training on scientific bee-keeping and production of high-value honey and honey-bee products and creating awareness among farmers, bee-keepers, and landless laborers about the scope and potential of the bee-keeping enterprise as an additional source of income to them. He intimated that the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers’ Welfare has approved the National Bee Keeping and Honey Mission (NBHM) for a period of 2 years. In view of the vision of Hon’ble Prime Minister for the development of Gaon, Garib, and Kisan, the bee-keeping enterprise would bring change in the livelihood of farmers and rural poor leading to sustainable agriculture development.

The Union Agriculture Minister complimented National Dairying Development Board, National Bee Board, Khadi & Village Industries Corporation, policymakers, farmers & bee-keepers for their significant contribution and continued support in this endeavor. The Agriculture Minister further emphasized increasing bee colonies, honey bee production, processing, marketing, and export, which would significantly contribute in GDP and boosting the rural economy.

Speaking on the occasion, Giriraj Singh, Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying said that adulteration is a major problem in honey production and honey is being adulterated with high fructose corn syrup or rice, tapioca, sugarcane and beet syrup that are cheaper and resemble honey in Physico-chemical properties. He thanked the Prime Minister for shifting the focus towards bringing the ‘Sweet Revolution’ in the country through such interventions. He further stated that the establishment of this Honey Testing Laboratory will help for the quality production of honey and its export to other countries. He also suggested promoting the cultivation of flora based crops to enhance the production of honey & honey bee products.

Union Ministers of State ParshottamRupala, Kailash Choudhary and Dr. Sanjeev Balyanalso expressed their views and suggested to establish more Honey Testing Laboratories in the country. Based on the parameters notified by FSSAI, the NDDB has set-up this world-class lab with all the facilities and developed the test methods/protocols, which have been accredited by National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL).FSSAI has now notified new standards of Honey, Bee Wax, and Royal Jelly.

The Union Agriculture Minister also inaugurated the ‘Two Days Online Training Programme on Scientific Honey-bee Production’ being conducted by National Dairying Development Board(NDDB) and extended compliments to the trainees for their participation in the said programme.