Kendrapara, July 27 (LocalWire): Nearly a thousand farmers from Kendrapara district, who are reliant on honey trade for their livelihood, have been hit by the COVID-19 juggernaut.
“I have around 15 honey boxes in my village Silipur, from which I collected 30 kilograms of honey last month.
However, we are unable to supply the honey to Cuttack, Bhubaneswar and other areas of the state due to the lockdown, said Rajanikanta Das, 40, an apiculture farmer.
“I used to earn nearly one lakh through apiculture. However, COVID-19 put me into trouble,” added Rajanikanta.
The economy of the honeybee farmers and traders has been suffering due to the ongoing lockdowns in major parts of the state.
Markets remain shut, leaving traders and honeybee farmers in the lurch, said Hemant Kumar Behera, a honey bee farmer of Balisahi.
Hemant was working in the IT sector of Reliance Company in Mumbai. In 2017, he left the job and is now doing apiculture in his village.
Usually, by this time, traders start purchasing honey from the farmers.
However, due to the COVID-19 and lockdown, finding a buyer as well as transportation of honey has become a major issue, said Behera.
“The period between May to July is the harvesting period of the honey.
This year, the fear of COVID-19 has forced traders to postpone their visit to our village,” said Janardan Haldar of Ramanagar village.
As demand crashed, the price of honey in the local market has fallen.
“We used to sell honey at Rs 600 per kg, which is now around Rs 250 to Rs 300,” added Haldar.