Honey from litchi buds sweetening Dinajpur economy

27 April 2014
Honey from litchi buds sweetening Dinajpur economy

UNB, Dinajpur :
Honey collection through beekeeping in litchi orchards has turned out to be a lucrative profession helping the district's economy grow considerably.
It has become a common trend among the people involved in apiculture to collect honey from litchi buds in the district, which has a good name for widely producing the succulent summer fruit.
A large number of beekeepers from different places of the country collect honey from the litchi orchards of the district every summer when the litchi trees are in full bloom.
They pay a considerable amount of money to the litchi plant owners in exchange for the scope to maintain honeybee colonies in the hives.
Honeybees produce commodities such as honey, beeswax, pollen, and jelly. Selling the items in the local markets and outside the district, the beekeepers are getting highly economically benefited, which also ultimately helps increase the size of the district's economy. Consequently, as apiculture is meeting the need of honey greatly in the country so it is also removing unemployment of youths largely.
But some insiders of the sector told this correspondent that the honey produced in the district could be exported if government patronisation including loan was found.   
According to sources at the industry assistance centre of Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC), Dinajpur, there are around three hundred honeycombs in the district.
Around 45 tonnes of honey worth Tk1.5 crore is collected form the honeycombs of the district every year.
Madhabbati of Biral upazila and Masimpur of Sadar upazila are famous for litchi production.
Honey collector Jiban Chandra from Sirajganj said they come to the district for honey collection in the summer when the litchi plants start budding.
He has 78 boxes to collect honey from the litchi gardens.
Garden owners allow them to collect honey because it also helps good production of litchis.
Beekeeper Abdur Rahman of the same area said those who come to collect honey have teams of three to four people and each team collects 30-40 maunds of honey.
Per maund honey is sold at Tk 12,000. Each team makes profit of Tk3lakh to Tk 5 lakh.
He, however, said they collect honey from buds of litchis in Dinajpur, from mustard flowers in Chapainawabganj, Sirajganj and Bogra districts, from coriander flowers in Chakma, from black cumin flowers in Shariatpur and sesame flowers in Panchagarh in six months of a year but they have to remain unemployed for the remaining six months.
Honey cultivator Sikandar said although they collect honey it has no designated market. There is no system as well to process the honey they produce.
Moreover, those who collect honey are not given bank loan from the government.
Assistant engineer of industry assistance centre of BSCIC ,Dinajpur, Nirendra Nath Roy said honey cultivators are given training to expand apiculture industry in the district.

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