The Assam government would launch the 'Chief Minister's Honey Bee Mission' scheme to boost production almost three-fold in the next five years in the state. The Mission sought to increase honey output to 6,000 tonne annually within five years from 2,200 tonne in 2012-13 with the current year's target being 3,000 tonne.
A budgetary provision of Rs 14.75 crore was proposed for the first phase of the Mission and the Directorate of Horticulture and Food Processing would be the nodal agency for its implementation, while Assam Agricultural University would act as the technology partner, official sources told PTI here.
Apiculture has a long tradition in Assam with the state ranking sixth in the country with the state having around 25,000 beekeepers. During the year 2012-13, the share of domestic honey output was 1,200 tonne while the remaining 1,000 tonne was from collection in the wild.
The Mission would also seek to develop bee stocks for expansion of apicultural activities, disseminate latest technology, provide inputs like modern bee hive and seed colonies for strengthening production and productivity of horticultural crops, among others.
The Mission also aimed to increase production and productivity of field crops like sesame, rape seed, mustard and pigeon pea through 'honey bee mediated pollination'. It would focus on increasing production and productivity of horticultural crops like guava, litchi and citrus through pollination.