Bee Prepared: Manghar’s Transformation into India’s First Honey Village Aims to Sweeten the Pot with ₹50 Lakh Investment

March 27, 2024
2 mins read
Manghar, soon to be known as India's first Honey Village, is stirring up some sweet excitement.
Manghar, soon to be known as India's first Honey Village, is stirring up some sweet excitement.(Source: Facebook)

Nature has got many sweet things. Sugarcane is one of the greatest sources of our sweeteners in our daily life. Among the creatures that supply us honey is honeybee. This humble creature supplies us one of the great source of sweet things – honey. That is why it is heartening to learn that India’s first honey village is set to come up at Manghar. Under the ambit of Project Honeybee, the Khoi and Village Industries Commission has decided to launch the Village of Honey scheme in Maharashtra’s Manghar village. Located 10 km away from Mahabaleshwar, this village in Satara is the first one to be developed as a Madhache Gaav’ (Honey Village) by the administration. This initiative will be launched by the industries Minister Subhash Desai on May 16 at a budget of about ₹50 lakhs.

The authorities will set up bee-breeding centres, distribute bee boxes, honey sale counters, and set up information centres in the village as a part of this project. So far, bee boxes have already been distributed in the village at a subsidised rate while the breeding centres will be unveiled during the launch. The honey will be processed and then directly sold to the tourists under the label of village’s brand. The villagers will also be guided and trained to use the byproducts to make soaps, shampoos, and oil to generate extra income. As a part of this project, the administration is also trying to increase the number of bees in the area.

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Saplings of Jamun, litchi, cinnamon, mulberry, and other trees have also been planted to add to the existing fauna to propagate flora for the bees. According to the CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of Maharashtra Khadi and Village Industries Board, the plan will soon be implemented at other villages in the state too. Around 25 lakh tourists visit Mahabaleshwar every year. Hoardings and boards of this initiative will be put up at tourist spots to attract these tourists. Jingles after this village of honey will also be broadcast on the radio to publicise this concept.

Even though the main centres of the apiary business are based out of Mahabaleshwar, most of the families living at Manghar are also in the same sector. Out of the 100 households in the village, around 80 are currently engaged in the beekeeping business. Mahabaleshwar and its satellite areas account for 28% of the total honey produced in Maharashtra. With Maharashtra as one of the most dominant honey producers in the country, India ranks sixth in the world in terms of natural honey export. According to experts, the domestic market of apiculture is expected to go beyond ₹33,000 million in the current financial year.

Apart from boosting honey production, this initiative of the Maharashtra government is aimed at imparting firsthand knowledge of this procedure. In addition to this, the scheme will also develop village-based tourism while underlining the importance of honeybees in the food chain. While talking about the concept, an officer revealed that the idea is to transform the local economy and create awareness regarding the importance of honeybees. Moreover, this scheme will also create employment opportunities for the local people. If you wish to see the forest-to-fork trail of honey, head out to this Manghar village after May 16, and witness the entire process of honey production right from its collection to the final processing.

Tejal Somvanshi

Meet Tejal Somvanshi, a soulful wanderer and a staunch wellness advocate, who elegantly navigates through the enchanting domains of Fashion and Beauty with a natural panache. Her journey, vividly painted with hues from a vibrant past in the media production world, empowers her to carve out stories that slice through the cacophony, where brands morph into characters and marketing gimmicks evolve into intriguing plot twists. To Tejal, travel is not merely an activity; it unfolds as a chapter brimming with adventures and serendipitous tales, while health is not just a regimen but a steadfast companion in her everyday epic. In the realms of fashion and beauty, she discovers her muse, weaving a narrative where each style narrates a story, and every beauty trend sparks a dialogue. Tejal seamlessly melds the spontaneous spirit of the media industry with the eloquent prose of a storyteller, crafting tales as vibrant and dynamic as the industry she thrives in.

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