A former nursing student has given up his medical ambitions to fully focus on beekeeping in the Indian-administered territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
Nazim Nazir, 23, started engaging in beekeeping after being unable to find pure honey at local markets back in his home district of Pulwama back in 2017.
The region is known for being an important location for the production of saffron.
Today Nazim runs his own company, the Al-Nahl Honey Farm. According to Indian media, he receives orders from all over the world and earns around INR 40,000 (EUR 460, GBP 400) per month.
Nazim – who carried out an extensive increase in production last year – told financial news platform moneycontrol.com: “I started with two hives and read a lot about beekeeping from books as well as the internet. Within a span of five years, I have managed to set up a successful business.
“Both honey and its byproducts have a great demand in the markets across the country. Last year I yielded honey three times higher than previous years thanks to saffron pollination.”
Apiculture has become increasingly popular in the Jammu-Kashmir region in the past two decades. Today, 70 tonnes of honey are harvested there each year.
Local media report that beekeepers are earning “tremendous amounts of money” by selling honey but also products such as beeswax, propolis and royal jelly.
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare recently introduced the National Beekeeping And Honey Mission (NBHM), a project which wants to promote scientific beekeeping in the country.
The NBHM collaborates with other beekeeping initiatives and rural development programmes to encourage agricultural firms to engage in apiculture. It also aims at offering new perspectives to farmers and jobless young people.