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Honey harvesting brings boon for Rajshahi, Faridpur farmers

  • Published at 05:49 pm December 29th, 2020
Faridpur Sadar farmers set beehive boxes beside a mustard field for collecting honey
Faridpur Sadar farmers set beehive boxes beside a mustard field for collecting honey Dhaka Tribune

Rajshahi Deputy Director of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) Shamsul Haque said honey farming has gained popularity in the region including its vast Barind tract

Many people have changed their fortunes through honey harvesting ventures after the best uses of existing natural resources in Rajshahi and Faridpur. 

The main areas of natural honey production in Bangladesh are the Sundarban, Hilly areas and Madhupur. But over the few years honey farming has gained popularity in the Barind region of Rajshahi and many other districts as many people attained success through commercial honey harvesting.

Rajshahi Deputy Director of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) Shamsul Haque said honey farming has gained popularity in the region including its vast Barind tract.

He added that honey bee rearing in mustard farming fields is very helpful for proper fertilization of the crop. So the DAE always inspires and motivates the farmers to this end after adopting special projects.

Prof Redwanur Rahman of the Institute of Environmental Sciences in Rajshahi University said honey farmers need more technological support, financial assistance and a sound marketing system for making their business more profitable.

Like the previous years, the harvesters have set up honey collecting boxes at different areas this season.

Due to its economic value, the number of honey harvesters in mustard farming fields is increasing gradually as the composite farming is being adjudged as lucrative means of boosting mustard yield in the region.

Shasthi Paharia, 48, a farmer of Kashini Gangarampur village under Charghat upazila, has been harvesting honey for a long 12 years by rearing native bee species ‘serena’ in 12 boxes. Shasthi said both the  demand and market price of honey of native bee species are comparatively high.

He is hopeful of selling 120 kilograms of honey valued at around Tk 45,000 with net profit of Tk 30,000 this year. His success inspires many of his co-villagers for honey harvesting.

Ataur Rahman, another farmer of Namajgram village under Godagari upazila, remains involved in honey harvesting in mustard fields since 2000.

He earned more than Tk six lakh every winter season through his commercial honey harvesting. Ashraful Islam Sumon, a farmer of Hasnabad village under Godagari Upazila, said the honey harvesting made him income-generator and self-confident.

He has collected 12 kilograms of honey from every box in the last seven days.

Last year, he got 38 mounds of honey from 67 bee-colonies in Borobilla area under Paba upazila. He sold those in both local and regional markets.

Meanwhile, around 2.81 lakh tons of mustard yield are expected to be harvested from around two lakh hectares of lands in all eight districts under Rajshahi division during the current Rabi season.

In Faridpur, beekeepers in the district are passing busy time collecting honey from the bee boxes.

Sources said, honeybee farming is gaining popularity in the area for market demand. Farmers here generally set up the boxes beside the mustard croplands.

Every season a huge amount of honey is collected across the district.

Faridpur DAE Deputy Director Hazrat Ali said the district is well-known for producing quality honey. Farmers set their boxes beside mustard, black cumin, lentils, onion, coriander and khesari fields so that the bees can collect nectar from the flowers, reports a correspondent.

At least 3,000 boxes have been set beside mustard fields this season across the district. 

We hope 14, 000 kg honey will be collected from the mustard fields, he added.