Updated: Sep 21
Meet Mr. Upendra Pant, 45, who lives in the Chamoli district's Batula village, which is administered by the Municipal Corporation of Pipalkoti. His family consists of 05 members, including his wife, who is 39 years old and works as a housewife, his wife, whose name is Mrs. Sunita Devi, and the age of 39 years old, two elder daughters, Sweta 17 years old, Sweety Pant 17 years old, both of whom are studying in higher secondary standard, and a younger son, Mr. Anubhaw Pant, 13 years old, who is studying in 8th standard.
Mr. Pant is a businessman who operates a hardware store in Mayapur-Batula and also engages in agricultural activities. Mr. Pant has been chosen as a village level entrepreneur for beekeeping as part of the Nayi Kiran projectbecause he holds limited experience of rearing bees and already had 02 unit of bee-boxes before the commencement of the Nayi Kiran programme, but their vision was to add more boxes and colonies to generate additional income along with hardware business. He registered and received approval from the Ward Member-Batula himself in beekeeping intervention once the MRIDA-THDC livelihood programme was finalized and beekeeping intervention was incorporated.
Before handing over the bee-boxes and colonies to the beneficiaries, MRIDA organized a two-day training programme that included a day of theoretical class room trainings at Krishna Place in Mayapur and a day of practical experience at village Batula with technical assistance from Mr. Trilok Singh Rawat, Master trainer, and it was communicated to beneficiaries/PAFs via communication dockets.Mr. Pant actively participated in both the theoretical and practical sessions of the training programme to learn about beekeeping, management, do's and don'ts while opening a bee-box, identifying a queen, separating colonies, harvesting techniques, and commercial aspects.
Mr. Pant received 04 bee-boxes, 02 colonies, and a safety kit after completing the bee-keeping training programme in May 2022. To maintain and properly manage the bee-keeping unit, team Mrida visits the bee unit on a regular basis to monitor the colonies and has also engaged expert Mr. Trilok Singh Rawat, Master trainer, for technical support and to reduce bee-colony mortality. So far, Mr. Pant has kept all of the colonies running smoothly and in accordance with the expert's and Mrida personnel's instructions.
the beekeeping pilots have done in the month of May 2022, honey harvesting will take place generally in two seasons, which are May-June & Oct-Nov, so Mr. Pant can harvest the honey in the upcoming season Oct-Nov, but production will be limited during these seasons because, according to experts, peak production will take at least one year. Bees require honey to consume during extreme cold weather because bees are unable to move and collect nectar due to the extreme cold, so production will be lower than during the May-June season. Considering all the constraints, Mr. Pant can expect to harvest 04 kgs of honey per box, resulting in 08 kgs of honey during the upcoming Oct-Nov season and next year onwards, 32 kgs of honey from the Mrida Support programme, 16 kgs of honey from his own bee-keeping establishment, for a total of 48 kgs of honey that can be sold at Rs. 600 per kg hence, Mr. pant generate the additional income of Rs. 28,800.00 in addition to his hardware business. The table illustrates the financial component of the project investment in terms of stakeholders, contributions, and VLE income.
Mrida personnel also assisted Mr. Pant in keeping track of all expenses and outputs, and for this purpose, Mrida provided farmers' dairy to the entrepreneur in order to keep track of all expenses related to the bee keeping project.