The government plans to organize a series of events across the country in collaboration with state governments and farmers to harness the export potential of honey in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of a ‘soft revolution’ by promoting beekeeping and related activities.
One such event is planned by APEDA, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, for the promotion of honey exports in Chandigarh, involving exporters, stakeholders and government officials, with the aim of encouraging farmers to continue growing honey while guaranteeing quality production.
Given the massive increase in honey consumption around the world, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic, due to its natural immunity-boosting properties and as a healthier alternative to sugar, l APEDA’s goal is to boost honey exports by ensuring quality production and market expansion to new countries, as India’s natural honey exports are currently highly dependent on one market – the states United States – which accounts for more than 80% of exports.
The government has approved an allocation of Rs 500 crore for the National Beekeeping and Honey Mission (NBHM) for three years under the government’s AtmaNirbhar Bharat initiative to boost honey production (2020-21 to 2022-23).
In the “Mann ki Baat” program, Prime Minister Modi highlighted the importance of honey in Ayurvedic medicine. Honey has been called an elixir. He said there are so many opportunities in honey production today that even students pursuing professional studies are turning to it as a source of self-employment.
“We are working closely with the state government, farmers and other stakeholders in the value chain to increase exports of quality honey,” said APEDA Chairman Dr M Angamuthu. . He also said that India was renegotiating the tariff structure imposed by various countries in order to increase honey exports.
APEDA has helped honey producers access export markets, as well as obtain government assistance through various programs, quality certification and laboratory testing. APEDA works with exporters to address challenges such as higher transportation costs, limited container availability during the peak honey export season, higher costs of nuclear magnetic resonance testing, and insufficient export incentives.
India, which began to organize its exports in 1996-97, exported 74,413 metric tons (MT) of natural honey worth USD 163.73 million in 2021-22, with the United States carving out the lion’s share (59,262 MT). Other popular destinations for Indian honey included UAE, Saudi Arabia, Nepal, Morocco, Bangladesh and Qatar.
In 2020, global honey exports totaled 7.36 lakh MT, with India ranking eighth and ninth in the world respectively in terms of honey producing and exporting countries. Total honey production in 2020 was estimated at 1.62 million metric tons, including honey extracted from all nectar sources, agricultural plants, wildflowers and forest trees.
In India, the North Eastern region and Maharashtra are the main producing regions of natural honey, and about half of the honey produced in India is consumed within the country, with the rest exported worldwide. According to the DGCIS, APEDA achieved total exports of $7.41 billion between April and June 2022, which represents an increase of 30.8% in dollar terms compared to the same period of the previous year. .
First published on: August 13, 2022, 04:02 IST