STATE-OF-THE ART HONEY PROCESSING UNIT TO COME UP AT JALANDHAR
PART OF CM’S VISION TO PROMOTE AGRICULTURE DIVERSIFICATION IN THE STATE
NewZNew (Chandigarh) : As a part of the state government’s endeavor to promote agriculture diversification program in the state, the premier cooperative of the state- Markfed was all set to establish an ultra modern Honey Processing Unit at village Chuharwali in Jalandhar.
Disclosing this here today a spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office said that the Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal had held a series of meetings for boosting the production of Honey in the state to supplement the earnings of the farmers, who were on the verge of economic disaster due to dwindling returns from the traditional agriculture. In a move aimed at providing price stabilization and preventing exploitation of bee-keepers due to fluctuating market trends, Mr. Badal had also mooted the idea of setting up a state-of-the art Honey Processing Unit.
In compliance with the directions of the Chief Minister, Markfed has prepared a Detailed Project Report (DPR) to set up a Honey Processing Unit at Village Chuharwali, Jalandhar, where construction of Modern Canneries was already under way, with a total outlay of Rs. 15.50 crores. The DPR was submitted to Agriculture and Processed Foods Export Development Authority (APEDA) with a request for the grant –in-aid for the project. After a series of meetings and technical presentations, the officials of Markfed were successful in convincing APEDA about the necessity of setting up a Honey Processing Unit not only as commercial activity of Markfed but for protecting the long term interest of the bee-keepers. APEDA had also under lined the importance of backward linkages by increasing honey production in the state, rather than competing with the existing market of honey –a direction to which Markfed readily agreed.
The persistent efforts of Markfed fructified as the APEDA authorities had approved a grant of Rs 8 Crores for ultra modern Honey Processing Unit of Markfed with an installed capacity of 3000 MTs. The Markfed proposes to export 2000 MTs of honey and sell the remaining 1000 MTs within the domestic market. It has also prepared a roadmap for ensuring timely and regular monetary gain to the bee keepers while protecting the commercial interests of the organization.
The officials of Markfed had also held a series of meetings with the Associations of Bee-Keepers, Officers of PAU and Officers of Horticulture Department to work out linkages between Bee- keepers and Markfed. Pertinently more than 450 bee- keepers have registered with Markfed to supply honey and many more were eager to join. Likewise parleys were also held with scientists of Punjab Biotechnology Incubator, Mohali for providing State of the Art Testing facilities which would detect adulteration of sugar syrup in Honey, thereby making Markfed the pioneer in introducing such testing of honey within the country.