The enormous potential for promotion of apiculture (beekeeping) as a means to provide alternative income to farmers is waiting to be tapped in Aswaraopeta, the horticultural hub of Telangana.
Aswaraopeta and its surrounding mandals including Dammapeta in Khammam district account for the lion’s share of horticultural crops in the entire Telangana State.
Oil palm plantations are mainly concentrated in Aswaraopeta and Dammapeta mandals. The total area under the oil palm cultivation is 30,000 acres in the district. Coconut plantations are spread in over 2,000 acres in the two mandals.
Aswaraopeta mandal encompasses a sprawling coconut seed garden, horticulture research station, and around 200 private horticulture nurseries. The mandal consisting of nurseries of diverse range of horticulture crops including coconut, oil palm, mango, and cashew is considered most suitable for beekeeping.
Availability of flower bearing plants that bloom almost throughout the year and abundant nectar to support beekeeping activity on a commercial scale make Aswaraopeta mandal the ideal place for taking up the agro-based income generation activity, notes Prabhakar, an oil palm grower of Aswaraopeta.
Beekeeping has lot of financial potential as it helps produce a wide range of bee products including honey, jelly, wax and pollen which are in huge demand in the market.
The drastic decline in honey collection in Bhadrachalam Agency has necessitated the need for promotion of apiculture to meet the burgeoning demand for honey in the open market, he points out.
Apart from honey production, beekeeping activity also aids cross pollination thereby helping in maximising the horticultural crop yield, says R Srinivasa Rao, Deputy Director, Horticulture Department, Khammam.
A proposal to provide training to some field level functionaries and horticulture farmers of the mandal on scientific methods of beekeeping at a reputed institute in the neighbouring State is under consideration, he says.
source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> National> Telangana / by P. Sridhar / Khammam – March 23rd, 2016