Financing Beekeeping Activities
Financing Beekeeping Activities
There is a huge potential for beekeeping activities in India. The sector offers direct and indirect employment opportunities to the hill dwellers, tribes and farmers and improves their socio-economic standard. It supports other agricultural activities through cross-pollination and is the primary revenue puller for the country. Stating the importance of the beekeeping activities in India, the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Government of India, has been introducing several schemes and programs to enhance the art of honey production and livelihood of the beekeepers. NABARD, in its recent circular to all the commercial Banks, Regional Rural Banks and Cooperative Societies in India, has requested to provide financial assistance to beekeepers in promoting scientific beekeeping activities. The circular urges the State/Divisional Directors of the banks to promote and provide preference to finance beekeeping activities.
The purpose of the measure is to,
- Increase crop productivity through scientific beekeeping activities
- Enhance the income of the farmers and other stakeholders involved in the beekeeping activities
- Encourage people in farming the production regions in every part of the state.
- Offer financial support to the beekeepers in procuring advanced equipment and establishing bee colonies.
- Support beekeepers in recurring their losses in case of disease or the loss of bees
- Identify the potential group of beekeepers and offer financial support to set up honey houses, purchase honey colonies, bee boxes, honey extractors, smokers and bee veil, bee knife, hive tools, queen gate, feeder, solar wax extractor, plastic drums to store honey, sting proof rubber gloves etc.,
- Meet the expenses of purchase of foundation sheets, sugar, medicines, gloves and other equipment.
The list of beneficiaries who can avail the term loan are as follows,
- Small and Marginal farmers who are involved in the beekeeping activities
- The agricultural labourer who is trained in beekeeping activities
- Individuals/Association of persons/Companies possessing ample experience in beekeeping activities and are interested in taking up the activity on a commercial scale basis.
Type of Loan
The loan is disbursed depending upon the necessity and requirement of the beneficiaries. The initial periodic costs incurred by the beneficiaries are also included in the term loan.
Repayment of Loan
The beneficiaries are required to repay the loan amount obtained from the banks within the period of 5 years, including the gestation period.
Factors that require financial assistance/loan from banks for beekeeping
- The Beekeeping involves long-term loans at easy rates of interest and the technique used by China to take up beekeeping in a big way.
- To enable and implement these trendy technologies, NABARD requires financial assistance.
- The Honeybee colony produces honey only after almost a year in the beginning and then seasonally.
Role of NABARD
Establishing scientific beekeeping and formation of economically viable unit activities would require at least 50 bee colonies, each of 8 frames bees, hives, supers and other beekeeping equipment with an approximate estimation of Rs.2.2 to 2.5 Lakhs. Further, subsidy at the rate of 40% that is equivalent to the amount of Rs.88,000 is disbursed to train the farmers/beekeepers and other stakeholders involved in the activities under the Mission Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) scheme. The remaining amount should be raised by the stakeholders through their resources. In such cases, the NABARD leverages to arrange additional financial assistance to ensure sustainability and competitiveness of the cluster, where and when required. Its role includes,
- Directing the State/Divisional Directors to promote and provide preference to finance beekeeping activities in this regard.
- NABARD explores on the states, where the group of beekeepers are available in a larger population.
- Expedite the finance for the states which have potential flora and fauna available in excess for inducting new beekeepers through Honey Mission.
- Networking the beekeepers with the banks/financial institutions for assisting trainees in claiming finance through beekeeping mission.
- Assisting the beekeepers in formulating the beekeeping model projects and dispatching to Banks through State/Divisional Offices.
- Persuading the Banks/Financial Institutions in extending funds to the beekeepers even if he is landless.
- Assisting with the insurance coverage to the beekeepers on account of loss during the migration, theft of hives, cyclones, flood and other damages.