‘Madhu Sandesh’ project at Baramati in Maharashtra is a success story. On the occasion of ‘World Honey Bee Day’ on August 19, farmers in the region were felicitated for encouraging and creating awareness amongst them to pollinate their crops with beehives and responsible use crop protection products.
The project showcased outstanding outcomes with an average increase of 20.83 percent in crop yields over last year and a substantial increase in quality due to pollination service. The project received tremendous appreciation from farmers and government gaining accolades not only in India but also receiving International recognition.
CropLife India in association with Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and Agriculture Development Trust, KVK Baramati celebrated the ‘Honey Bee Day.’ The day was observed to promote beekeeping and pollination services in agriculture. Farmers who took part in the project program were felicitated amongst around 800 farmers. Senior functionaries of Indian Council of Agriculture Research ( ICAR), officials of Krishi Vygan Kendra, Baramati and member organizations of CropLife India. CropLife India organised the event. CropLife India is an Association of Technology driven Crop Science Industry, committed to Advancing Sustainable Indian Agriculture. CropLife India promotes the benefits and responsible use of Crop Protection products, as well as sound regulatory frameworks in support of sustainable agriculture in India.
CropLife India celebrated this day as an acknowledgment for the success of ‘Madhu Sandesh’ project in Baramati and felicitated farmers in the region to encourage and create awareness amongst them to pollinate their crops with beehives and responsible use crop protection products.
PK Chakraborty, Additional Director General – Plant Protection, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) New Delhi, said, “ We believe honey bees are one of the best natural insect pollinators and we need to protect them to aid the national food security goals. We have been creating awareness amongst farmers in this region about the role of honey bees in increasing the crop yield besides beekeeping entrepreneur ship through the ‘Madhu Sandesh’ project and the results are tremendous”.
Brij Uberoi, CEO, CropLife India, said, “Honeybees are one of the most important and widespread pollinators of our food and we need to protect them. The ‘Madhu Sandesh’ program is one such initiative that demonstrated and promoted the proliferation and professionalization of the beekeeping in Baramati. As part of the program, subsidized bee hive rentals were provided to farmers to pollinate their crops. This not only resulted in improved yield and incomes for farmers but also instilled a holistic understanding of the need to use crop protection products in a manner that protects the environment and ecosystems.”
At the end of the first year, 90 percent of the 180 participants reported better quality crops. Pomegranate farmers saw an average of 15 percent increase in their yields, corresponding to a 42 percent increase in income while the training they received helped reduce waste. Moreover, the farmers who benefitted from the program became enthusiastic advocates of promoting pollination, protecting the environment and using crop protection products responsibly.