India's first honey testing lab

(Image is just for the illusion)

Narendra Singh Tomar, Hon’ble Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, inaugurated NDDB’s hi-tech honey testing laboratory and beekeeping training program for dairy farmers at National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), Anand on 24 July 2020 in the presence of Guest of Honour Shri Giriraj Singh, Hon’ble Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry Dairying. Shri Parshottambhai Rupala, Union Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare; Dr. Sanjeev Kumar Balyan, Union Minister of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying; Shri Kailash Choudhary, Union Minister of State for Agriculture Farmers’ Welfare; Shri Miteshbhai Patel, Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha), Anand; Shri Sanjay Agarwal, Secretary, Agriculture Farmers’ Welfare, Govt of India, Shri Dilip Rath, Chairman, NDDB and Shri Meenesh Shah, Executive Director, NDDB also graced the occasion.

NDDB is committed to augmenting dairy farmers’ income through allied activities. This world-class honey testing facility has come up as part of its multi-disciplinary laboratory – CALF. This is the only accredited laboratory in the country which can test honey sample as per FSSAI’s latest regulation of 1st July 2020 (as on date) by undertaking authenticity testing by using sophisticated analytical instruments and wet chemical analysis. This NABL accredited laboratory can also test honey as per the requirement of BIS, AGMARK, Codex standards, and Residue Monitoring Plan (RMP) of Export Inspection Council covering pesticides, antibiotics, heavy metals, and wet chemical testing.

Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Agriculture Minister congratulated ministry officials for collaborating with NDDB and successfully establishing a world-class honey testing facility at Anand. The Union Minister said that we need to focus on the benefits of beekeeping, its impact on the cultivation and income of farmers. The income generated through honey production should contribute to the GDP of the nation. Shri Tomar said the Government of India is committed to doubling farmer’s income. He mentioned about Govt. of India’s Rs. 500 crore beekeeping initiative fund under Aatmanirbhar Bharat for infrastructure development related to beekeeping including income generation and capacity building of beekeepers with thrust on women.

Giriraj Singh, Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairying said that the development of beekeeping will generate employment in rural India and has the potential of augmenting the income of farmers. Beekeeping acts as a catalyst in increasing yield of agricultural & horticultural crops in the country through cross-pollination.

Honey bees are vital in sustaining plant biodiversity. He said that the authenticity of honey has become a serious issue as suppliers indulge in unethical practices for economic gains. The testing facility at NDDB will help honey farmers, cooperatives, and honey industry in producing quality honey for domestic consumption and export by meeting regulatory requirements.

Dilip Rath said that NDDB along with NBB had initiated the drive to promote scientific bee-keeping among farmers by utilizing the dairy cooperative network in the country. This state-of-the-art laboratory has been established with the Agriculture Ministry’s financial assistance and all the facilities and services related to testing of honey are now available in one place. Our Hon’ble Prime Minister has from time-to-time called for promoting the honey industry in the country and bringing a ‘Sweet Revolution’ on the lines of the ‘White Revolution’.

Dairy cooperatives can establish a value chain for honey alike dairies. Milk unions of Banaskantha (Gujarat), Sundarban (West Bengal) and Muzaffarpur (Bihar) are using their infrastructure for procurement and marketing of honey and Banas, Sudha and Sundarini brands are providing quality honey to its customers. Under National Bee Keeping Honey Mission, an important part of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat, NDDB is committed to the program and has been designated as the implementing agency.