Disease outbreak : Beekeepers face threat to livelihood
Pulwama: The beekeeping industry in Kashmir is witnessing a steep decline as the number of farmers associated with the trade is decreasing with each passing day.
The farmers associated with apiculture say that due to diseases outbreaks and minimal support from authorities, the industry is witnessing a fast decline.
“Dozens of people who were associated with this industry from last few decades have left it due to disease breakouts and continuing losses,” said Manzoor Ahmed, a beekeeper from Pulwama.
“The government has never taken this industry seriously though it could play a vital role in promoting the industry,” he said, adding that the lack of chemicals and other necessary tools required to run beekeeping farm have forced farmers to shun this trade completely.
Experts believe that besides disease outbreak, the cutting of black locust and spur flowers in forests of Kashmir have forced beekeepers to bid adieu to the industry.
“They said the quality of Kashmiri honey is still considered superior, however, the quantity of honey produced in Kashmir is declining day by day,” Maroof Ahmad, another beekeeper said.
He further added that concerned authorities have failed to find any cause of the diseases in bees but authorities can revive this industry by compensating the farmers who suffered losses and frame a policy for them.
District Agriculture officer Pulwama Mohammed Qasim Ganaie said that due to very less rains this year, farmers suffered huge losses, however, a large number of people are still associated with the industry.
“We have provided funds for the welfare of the beekeepers besides subsidy, however farmers are facing inconveniences while transporting the produce on the Jammu Srinagar National Highway,” he added.
Ganaie said that the officials of the department are making efforts to involve more persons with the trade.