IMPHAL, March 1: The first state level honey festival, organised by Horticulture Mission for North East Himalaya State (HMNEH) Manipur and Manipur Bee Keepers’ Federation, was held at the Kangla Hall at 11:30 am.
Governor VK Duggal who inaugurated the festival was the chief guest while former Rajya Sabha MP W Angou Singh presided over the event as Keishamthong MLA, L Ibomcha Singh attended as the guest of honour.
VK Duggal stated that he was glad that the Manipur Beekeepers Federation with support from the department of horticulture and soil conservation and the department of commerce and industries was organising the first ever three-day Manipur Honey Festival starting from Saturday with the objective to popularise not only honey but also to highlight the importance of conservation and maintenance of existing bee colonies increasing the colony numbers, and also improving the productive efficiency of the bees.
“The federation with associations from all the districts of Manipur as its members is the most appropriate agency to look after the task of bee keeping in the state. I am glad to learn that there are about 700 individual members in all the associations with about 6000 bee boxes and they have been able to produce about 40000 litres of honey per annum. This number can be increased as the number of flowers during the peak season in the state caters to much more bee colonies,” the Governor said.
Expressing confidence that during the festival besides marketing the products, interactions will be held on various aspects of bee keeping, and also on improving the quality of honey, he hoped that the festival would be the fore-runner of a better environment for bee keeping resulting in higher incomes to the practitioners who mostly belonged to the marginalised society.
He also informed the gathering that through the commissioner (Hort) J.C Ramthanga he would request the state government to provide all the necessary support to the industry in which mostly small farmers are involved.