Kathua [Jammu & Kashmir], August 23 (ANI): Several youngsters in the border area of Hiranagar in J-K's Kathua district are reaping profits in the honey production business.
Suresh Kumar is one of them. He is actively involved in the process of honey production for the last few years.
Starting from five bee boxes which he bought on subsidy from the agriculture department, today he has possession of more than 1,000 bee boxes. Along with it, Kumar has also established a honey processing unit in which he produces 5-6 quintals of honey per day.
Around 12 varieties of honey are processed in his unit. At present, Kumar has an annual turnover of 80-90 lakhs and is earning a profit of 10-15 lakhs.
While talking to ANI, Suresh Kumar said, 'When I started honey production, I did not get the rate that I wanted. Traders used to buy our honey at cheaper rates. So, I thought that I should start selling honey on my own. I bought machines and started my own processing unit. Manual processing is very time-consuming but now this unit produces 60 kgs of honey in one hour. Honey which was earlier sold at Rs 150 is now sold at Rs 400. We produce many varieties of honey like that of Ajwain and Tulsi.'
Besides employing himself, Kumar has also employed around 25-30 people in his area.
A worker in Kumar's unit, Shashi Pal said, 'Due to the establishment of a honey processing unit, firstly people are getting employment, and secondly, women are also being trained to participate in beekeeping. Many women have started working in honey production.'
Another worker, Ram Krishan said, 'We are involved in honey extraction, migration, and cleaning of boxes. I really like doing this work.'
Kumar has also developed a cooperative society in which around 200 people are working with him. These people are not just from Jammu and Kashmir but from other states as well.
The nectar that bees gather from meadows, orchards, woodlands, and gardens is regarded as one of the best in the world. Jammu and Kashmir, being home to all of them, with its land requiring very few pesticides creates a favourable atmosphere for producing organic honey. (ANI)