Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST), Kashmir has received a Rs 4-crore grant from the National Bee Board (NBB) for setting up three honey testing laboratories, training farmers for beekeeping and conducting apiculture research.
According to a statement issued here, the grant has been awarded to the SKUAST-K’s Research and Training Centre for Pollinators, Pollinizers and Pollination Management, Division of Entomology for undertaking six honeybee projects. The centre is a dedicated Centre of Excellence at the university for the research and development and extension for apiculture and pollination ecosystem services by the honey bees and its management for the production of temperate field and horticultural crops.
Apart from two projects on scientific beekeeping training in Kupwara and Baramulla districts, the potential of research studies in beekeeping under low-temperature conditions of Gurez, the grant includes setting up of three honey testing laboratories in Pulwama, Kupwara and Bandipora districts.
Head of the university’s pollination centre and in charge of the projects, Prof Manzoor Ahmad Paray, said the three state-of-the-art testing laboratories to be set up under the projects will be the first of its kind in Kashmir to check the quality and purity of honey and other bee products.
The testing for the quality and branding of honey in the apiaries will be undertaken in these laboratories. The purity and quality certification from these laboratories will facilitate the marketing and export of the Kashmir honey.
The projects will also cater to the needs of the farmers and unemployed youth for training on Scientific Beekeeping in these apiculture potential districts of the Union Territory.
The funding has been granted under National Beekeeping and Honey Mission by the National Bee Board (NBB), Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India.
SKUAST-K has also won one more project under the competitive grants component of NICRA, ICAR, New Delhi on, ‘Impact of Climate Change on Honeybees and Innovative Strategies to Conserve them for Pollination Services in Temperate Crops’ with an outlay of Rs 45 lakhs by Dr Shahnawaz A Dar of KVK, Pulwama.