Bhaskar Rajad – Maharashtra

Bhaskar Rajad – Maharashtra

Bhaskar Rajad Maharashtra Bhaskar Jiva Rajad, 71, is a farmer from Patilpada hamlet in Vassa Village, Talasari Block, Maharashtra. He has a family of 5 members and his major source of income is through agriculture. As he learned farming from his ancestors, he has a good knowledge of agriculture andengages in traditional farming. He also owns a provision store selling daily utilities that is run by his son.

When UTMTS was looking to start the ‘BPR Programme’ in Vassa over a year back, few of the farmers referred Bhaskarji as a very active person taking initiative in every activity in the village. Thus, the UTMTS team approached him with the concept of “Beekeeping”.Amazed on hearing the benefits of beekeeping, he shared, “During these 70 years of my life I have grown up hunting bee colonies for honey, now having understood the significance of honeybees I wish someone would have intervened earlier in my life. We could have saved a number of colonies.”. Post the awareness session Bhaskarji was the first person to enrol in the ‘BPR Programme’. He encouraged other farmers to join the programme as well and today eightfarmers are doing excellent beekeeping in Vassa.

Bhaskarji has 5 filled beeboxes placed on his farm and since he has started beekeeping has extracted honey 4 times which amounted to 5 kgs, of which he sold 2 kgs of honey for Rs. 300 and 1 kg of honey for Rs. 800. Apart from extracting honey he has even witnessed the pollination impact of bees on his farm. This season Bhaskar got approximately 800 units of coconuts which isthe highest production up until now. In the previous yearsthere was an average production of 500 units of coconut.A 15% percent increase in the production of Guava was witnessed as well. The production of vegetables grown during the presence of the beebox are as follows:

Beekeeping, re-building livelihood opportunities

Beekeeping, re-building livelihood opportunities

Sangeeta Bahiram, beekeeper, 30 years of age, has received education up to grade four. She lives in Varpada, Dhule in a family of seven, which comprises of her mother-in-law, sister-in-law, her husband and the couple’s three school-going children. The family is dependent on their 1.5 acres of agricultural land for subsistence. The annual income of family is Re. 20,000/- Her husband is a farmer and at times works as farm laborer in others farm to meet the needs of the family. While discussing about her economic condition she says, “A thought that lingers my mind continuously is, how we all can be less strenuous and burdensome on my husband, as he is the sole breadwinner and six of us are dependent on him.” She adds, “My husband works as a farm laborer and does the most arduous work to provide the family with two-time meal. We are amongst those under-privileged families who cannot even afford visiting a doctor during illness”.

In 2014, Sangeeta took two-day basic training in beekeeping at Vadpada. Describing her experience of the two-day training she says, “It was uncommon and unique experience for me to observe bees settling in bee-box. I was stunned and thought of it as nothing less than a miracle”. She filled two bee-boxes post-training, but the colonies absconded within one month of filling the bee-boxes, this brought her temporary dismal but it did not deterred her spirit to continue beekeeping. She again filled her bee-boxes and kept in her farm for the benefit of pollination and there is no looking back ever since.

Sangeeta while reviewing benefits of beekeeping says, “I have received multifarious benefits from beekeeping, not only have I earned money by selling honey and colonies but also from selling the excess yield harvested because of pollination impact experienced due to beekeeping”. She has also received bee flora from UTMT Society such as – drum sticks saplings and vegetables seeds. She did plant the bee flora received in her farm to make flora available to bees and generate additional income from sale of yield harvested from bee flora distributed.

Honey Income chart

Sangeeta shares, “The pollination impact of beekeeping, witnessed in agricultural output exceeds the benefits received from income generated from sale of honey and colonies. Hence I have made all possible efforts to learn the intricacies of beekeeping and today I confidently do management of my own bee-boxes independently”. She from her additional income generated through beekeeping brought four goats and built herself a small house. Also she is contesting for Sarpanch’s position in her village in upcoming elections. She lastly adds, “I shall continue bee keeping in coming years and will train others too. I am thankful to UTMT Society for the continuous handholding support provided”.
Sangeeta shares