Ceylon Biscuits Limited (CBL) in collaboration with the National Agribusiness Development Programme (NADeP), renewed its support to bee honey producers in some selected villages in the Uva Province, launching a mega project recently at the Economic Center in Keppetipola, Bandarawela.
The project, will continue over a period of 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 twenty five percent 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 had suffered a natural decline when the project ended due to a variety of reasons, such as lack of marketing facilities and technical support. As a result, the number of bee keepers declined and those who continued in the industry, were faced with a multitude of problems.
CBL promptly rose to the occasion and gave an undertaking to the bee keepers, agreeing top purchase the entire quantity of honey produced by them at an attractive guaranteed price and in addition offered the benefits of company’s sophisticated sales and marketing network. Further the company has also recruited a special team to run the project smoothly and ensure its sustainability said Aruna Lokupothagama , special Project Manager of CBL.
This resulted in confidence building for the farmers 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 bee keeping equipment and enhanced training facilities. As a result of CBL’s contribution the production yield of bee’s honey in Uva has been increased from 350 kg to 6,000 kgs. Per season during the last eight years giving new blood to the bee honey production industry in the Uva.