> LEADERSHIP CAPACITY BUILDING
> 101 – GSDS Gandhi Fellowships
> FARM TO FABRIC (ORGANIC)
> FARM TO TABLE (ORGANIC)
> SCIENTIFIC AGRICULTURAL TRAINING
> COMMUNITY HEALTH
> GRASS ROOTS RELIEF
ENRICHING OUR ECOSYSTEM AND UNDER THREAT
The importance of the role bees play in pollination and therefore in preserving our ecosystem is not commonly understood and appreciated. Faced with the reality of a shrinking bee population around the world, studies warn of the impact this will have on plant life and therefore food supply. Honey extraction through unscientific practices is hazardous to bees, and in turn to human survival.
PRESERVING THE ANCIENT HONEY HARVESTING TRADITIONS OF TRIBALS
The Ozi Gond, Halba and Kolam tribes have been harvesting wild honey for aeons in the Sindivihri forests of Vidarbha. Over 160 impoverished tribal families in this central Maharashtra region continue to collect honey in remote forests to supplement their meagre farm income, using the practices handed down through generations.
BRINGING SCIENTIFIC MANAGEMENT TO APICULTURE
Centre for Bee Development (CBeeD) has designed the Ahimsa Forest Honey Collection (AFHC) technique to harness geo-specific wild varieties of bees for sustainable honey production, and for post-harvest management of storage, processing, packaging and marketing.
The innovative AFHC method has benefits for all stakeholders touched by scientific apiculture:
Better for the forests – Preserves the bee-fauna, which is crucial for cross pollination and regeneration of the forest eco system
Better for the bees – Honey is extracted non-violently, without destroying bees or their honeycombs
Better for honey collectors – Specially designed gear to protect from bee stings and tree climbing accidents
Better for tribals – Over 18000 tribal people have been trained in the new AFHC method, and are reaping the revenue benefits of the more efficient processes and techniques. Further, there is assured buyback of harvested honey-wax, to ensure fair earnings. Each trained honey collector on average earns Rs. 9100 annually for the family, more than tripling the earlier per capita income.
Better for consumers – Higher content of healthy pollen, more diabetic friendly sucrose levels, longer shelf life.
A RESPECTED BRAND IN WARDHA
Sewagram Nisarg honey is sold in 50g, 100g,200g, 500g, and 1000g packs and loose in Wardha. It retails from four counters : Chitrali, Sevagram ; Magandeep, Gram Seva Mandal and Swadeshi Sales Corporation, Wardha. Around 6T of honey is sold through the year with a marginal drop in the summer months of March-June. This is the best selling honey brand in the region, trusted and recommended by retailers.
The honey is rated by better by consumers than other brands available, on purity, taste, aroma and therapeutic benefits.
PURE TASTE AND GOODNESS OF ORGANIC HONEY, SCIENTIFICALLY EXTRACTED FROM FOREST FLOWERS OF SINDIVIHRI
Supported by the Samriddhi Project, the portfolio will be extended to offer the the specific goodness benefits of multi floral honey. In addition to the flagship product, sub brand variants under consideration include :
COTTON & TOOR FLORA
Better digestion, and metabolic stimulation
NEEM & MAHUA FLORA
Internal cleansing, and respiratory health
JAMUN & AINSAJA FLORA
Diabetes control, and immunity building
The new brand will be SEVAGRAM WILD HONEY clearly flagging its geographical and historical associations with the region, while ‘wild honey’ has desirable connotations of raw, authentic, and pure.
To achieve the scale required to increase the reach of social impact, distribution will be enhanced and online channels will be leveraged. The product mix will include various pack sizes, including samplers and gift packs.
The flagship product – Sevagram Wild Honey : Forest Flowers
One of the seasonal variants under consideration
A collection of gift packs to choose from
PROGRESSIVE PRACTISES ENCOURAGED BY THE CENTRE FOR BEE DEVELOPMENT (CBEED)
The Wardha-based Centre for Bee Development (CBeeD) has designed simple scientific techniques to harness wild varieties of bees for sustainable production of honey-wax and their post-harvest management (storage, processing, packaging, market promotion).
Assured ‘buyback’ of harvested honey-wax from local NGOs, social entrepreneurs, and self help groups is a service provided to reduce exploitation in honey harvesting, and to help create hive-to- table honey supply chains where process stages follow established best practises.
Going forward, the focus will be on skills training of traditional honey hunters, farmers, shepherds and forest dwellers. Relevant gear will be provided. Cost-efficient ‘honey houses’ will be set up as nodes to integrate back and forward supply chains. Forest department and relevant enforcement agencies will be urged to enforce scientific harvesting of honey-wax by trained and empanelled honey hunters.
Fully kitted out and trained honey hunters at work
In teaching tribals scientific honey hunting skills I am equipping them with the tools to lead a better life. But for their improved livelihood to be sustainable, the entire honey collection- production-distribution system needs to be secured. With the Samriddhi Project, I am looking to ramp up skills training across multiple states in the country, and form a network of like-minded people who come together to convert honey hunting into a viable community development lever. We will strengthen local communities and the environment at the same time.
Project lead :
Dr. Gopal N. Paliwal
Dr. Gopal N. Paliwal (M.Sc. Ph.D.). is the Director, Centre for Bee Development (CBeeD). The Bio-Scientist, has worked for over two decades in tribal / rural of areas of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Chattisgarh, and Jharkhand for the conservation of the rockbee species, to save and nurture the seasonal source of traditional livelihood of local communities, while protecting the bee pollination driven eco-system. His unique Sewagram Nisarg Technique of Rockbee Management enables safer and richer harvesting of honey-wax from the hives of wild bees.