Beekeeping Development Committee (BDC) under the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) headed by Professor Bibek Debroy submitted its report to the Prime Minister on June 26, 2019. It was framed with the objective to identify ways of advancing beekeeping in India.Recommendations:
The recommendations made in the report are as follows:
- To recognize honeybees as inputs to agriculture and consider landless Beekeepers as farmers.
- Plantation of bee friendly flora at appropriate places and engage women self-help groups in managing such plantations.
- Institutionalize the National Bee Board and rename it as the Honey and Pollinators Board of India under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare. It should involve in beekeeping through multiple mechanisms such as setting up of new Integrated Bee Development Centres, strengthening the existing ones, creating a honey price stabilization fund and collection of data on important aspects of apiculture.
- Recognition of apiculture as a subject for advanced research under the aegis of Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR).
- Training and development of beekeepers by state governments.
- Development of national and regional infrastructure for storage, processing and marketing of honey and other bee products.
- Simplify procedures and specify clear standards for ease of exporting honey and other bee products.
- Beekeeping should not be restricted to honey and wax only. Products such as pollen, propolis, royal jelly and bee venom should be also marketable which can greatly help Indian farmers.
- India has the potential of about 200 million bee colonies as against 3.4 million bee colonies.
- As per data from National Bee Board and Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, India’s efforts to improve the state of beekeeping have helped to increase the volume of honey exports from 29.6 to 51.5 thousand tonnes between 2014-15 and 2017-18.
- As per the data from Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), in 2017-18, India was ranked eighth in the world in terms of honey production (64.9 thousand tonnes). China was ranked first with a production level of 551 thousand tonnes.
Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister is a non-constitutional, non-permanent and independent body constituted to give economic advice to the Government of India, specifically the Prime Minister. It advises the Prime Minister on economic issues like inflation, microfinance and industrial output.