Honey: Handled with better care
The honey they extract is sold under the brand Hunting Honey and is sent on demand to Japan, from where part of it is sent to other countries. Nearly 10 quintals of Hunting Honey is processed and exported every year to Sitar, an Indian restaurant in Chiba, Japan. Naresh Mukut Singh, the Indian agent for Taizo Masuda’s Sitar firm, regularly visits Melghat and interacts with Central Bee Research and Training Institute officials in Pune. Says Singh, “Melghat honey has become so popular that Sitar is supplying to Korea and China and we will also display the product at an exhibition later this year.” For the farmer, who sells at Rs 50 a kg, export earns them an additional profit around Rs 40 a kg, institute officials say.
Over the years, several efforts have been undertaken to train traditional bee hunters and discourage them from destroying the honeycombs. Recently, the government launched the Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries, under which 100 traditional industry clusters are taken up for development over five years. “One was extraction of honey from wild bees,” said M T Wakode, director of the Pune institute. The Khadi
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