The honey is being cultivated simultaneously with mustard cultivation
Farmers in Tangail are turning away from honey cultivation, mainly due to lack of fair price.
This year only 40 farmers cultivated honey in the district, while the number of farmers were more than 80 even in the past year, according to Tangail Honey Farmers Association.
The association president Dulal Sarkar said that the honey farmers of the district were leaving the profession as they incurred huge loss in the sweet fluid cultivation over the last few years.
“Even, many farmers are yet to sell honey produced last year,” he said, adding that about 20 ton of honey is in the farmers’ stock till now.
It costs a farmer about Tk4,000-4,500 for producing a maund (40 kg) of honey, but they could only sell the honey at Tk2,000-2,500 per maund last year, he added.
Earlier, the honey sold at Tk5,000-7000 per maund, Sarker said.
This year the market price of the product is also not satisfactory, he added, saying that the honey was being sold at Tk3,800-4000 per maund this year.
According to the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), Tangail, 5,000 bee-keeping boxes were set up in the area this year. Last year, it was more than 10,000 in number.
The honey is being cultivated simultaneously with mustard cultivation. Farmers set bee-keeping box beside the mustard fields. The bees collect honey from the mustard flowers and store it in the boxes. Then farmers collect honey from the boxes.
Tangail DAE Deputy Director Abdur Razzak said that this year mustard were cultivated on 41,700 hectares of land, which was more than the DAE target.
“However, honey farming decreased this year,” he said, adding that they targeted 100 maund honey collection for this year.
Farmers were not getting a fair price for their produced honey, which forced many of them to leave the cultivation, he said.
“We have a project for boosting honey farming, in which we train farmers and provide all technical supports to them,” he said.
The honey collected from mustard flowers have strong antibiotics in it, which was why it had huge demands with the pharmaceuticals companies, he said.
Tangail is one of the top honey-producing areas of the country, where 200-300 ton of honey is being produced every year on an average.
In a recent visit, farmers were found passing busy time in honey collection from the bee-keeping boxes.
Beekeeper Md Mamun said this year honey production decreased because of unfavorable weather. He said many bees died due to foggy and cold weather.