Waseem Rafiq from Aglar Village, Shopian, Transforms Beekeeping into a Lucrative Business
Shopian, Dec 29: Beekeeping has become a beacon of opportunity for unemployed youth in Jammu and Kashmir, and Waseem Rafiq from Aglar Village, Shopian, stands out as a shining example of this burgeoning trend. Leaving his job at a multinational honey company in 2016, Rafiq embarked on his own apiculture venture, starting with 50 bee boxes and a vision to turn it into a full-time enterprise, providing employment for local youth.
With unwavering determination and support from the Department of Agriculture, Waseem has grown his beekeeping operation to a remarkable 1500 bee boxes. Not only has he secured a sustainable livelihood for himself, but he has also empowered over 10 youths in his village with their own bee colonies.
Waseem proudly shares, “I am able to generate an annual income of Rs. 30 lakh from beekeeping, extracting honey at least 5 times a year, with each hive yielding an impressive 40 kg annually.”
As winter sets in, Waseem undertakes the migration of his colonies to warmer regions like Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Jammu to ensure a continued harvest of honey.
Kashmir’s rich biodiversity, characterized by lush green meadows and forests, provides an ideal environment for honeybees to thrive. The region has witnessed a significant surge in the number of beekeepers, contributing to Jammu and Kashmir’s annual honey production of 22,000 quintals, with a substantial portion exported to various states and countries. Waseem’s success story echoes the sweet potential that beekeeping holds for the aspiring youth in the region.