CBL, NADeP continue to support Uva Province bee honey industry

Friday, 17 April 2015 04:54 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Ceylon Biscuits Limited (CBL), in collaboration with the National Agribusiness Development Program (NADeP), renewed its support to bee honey producers in some selected villages in the Uva Province by launching a mega project recently at the Economic Centre in Keppetipola, Bandarawela. The project will continue over two years and is one of the biggest honey production development projects launched so far in Sri Lanka. CBL’s objective is to increase honey production in the country to over 25,000 kg per year after the next two-year period, which is considered  to be around  25% of  country’s  bee honey  requirement CBL   started the bee honey project in 2006 as a CSR initiative following a request made to the company by the then Director of Agriculture in the Uva Province. Honey production in the Uva Province, which flourished during the time of the Mahaweli upper catchment area development project, suffered a natural decline when the project ended due to a variety of reasons such as a lack of marketing facilities and technical support. As a result, the number of beekeepers declined and those who continued in the industry faced a multitude of problems. CBL promptly rose to the occasion and gave an undertaking to the beekeepers, agreeing to purchase the entire quantity of honey produced by them at an attractive guaranteed price and in addition offered the benefits of the company’s sophisticated sales and marketing network. Furthermore,  the  company  also  recruited  a  special    team   to  run the  project  smoothly  and  ensure  its  sustainability, CBL Special  Project  Manager  Aruna Lokupothagama said. This built the farmers’ confidence and led to an increase in their production yields. The efforts were further reinforced with the intervention of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which provided financial assistance to purchase beekeeping equipment and enhanced training facilities. As a  result  of  CBL’s  contribution , the   production  yield  of  bee  honey  in Uva has  been  increased   from  350 kg to  6,000 kgs per season during the past eight years, giving  new life to the bee honey  production  industry  in the Uva Province.