‘GI tag for Sulai Honey will benefit farmers economically’

Representational Image
Representational Image File/GK

Ramban, Sep 11: Hundreds of farmers involved in the cultivation of Apis cerana (Indian/Asian bee) would see a rise in their economies as a result of the Geographical Indications (GI) tag for Solai Honey coming from Banihal in the Ramban region.

A geographical indications (GI) tag is a type of intellectual property right that distinguishes products from certain geographic places and links them to those locations' distinctive natural traits and attributes.

Deputy Commissioner Ramban, Mussarat Islam earlier announced that Ramban Sulai Honey has been awarded the GI tag. "A testament to our district's natural heritage and dedication."

The representative from the Agriculture Department claimed that after much effort, we were finally successful in registering the Geographical Indications (GI) tag for Solai, Honey from Banihal.

Ayaz Ahmed Rishi, an agriculture official for Banihal said that Ramban district is the major hub for beekeeping.

He claimed that more than 480 beekeepers are actively participating in the rearing of Indian/Asian Bees (Apis cerana), and more than 1200 farmers are indirectly involved. Each farmer has an average of two to seven colonies of Indian Asian Bees (Apis cerana).

More than 6000 quintals of honey are produced on average each year in the district.

Representatives of the Agriculture Department claim that the primary source of income for over 2,000 people's daily requirements is honey bee farming.

About 35,500 colonies of Italian/European bees (Apis mellifera) are owned by traders. Additionally, more than 8500 colonies of the Indian bee Apis Cerana are raised conventionally in log and wall hives in the area.

We have Acacia, Mustard, Multiflora, Solai, and other wild flora, according to agriculture officials. The focus is on this species since Plectranthus rugosus, also known as Solai locally, is a common plant in the area.

Experts of the Agriculture Department claimed the plant is used in traditional medical practices for toothache and is claimed to be effective as an antiseptic, a hypoglycemic, an anti-diarrheal and a bronchodilator.

They said the unique taste and texture of Sulai Honey from the Ramban region is due to the availability of wild flora.

Farmers who want to venture into integrated farming can avail financial assistance and other support from concerned government departments.

Earlier in January 2023, Lt, Governor Manoj Sinha had visited the stall of Sanglaab Valley FRO, for GI tagging of Ramban Sulai Honey during a 2-day workshop on Geographical Indications of North Western Himalayas at SKUAST, Jammu.

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