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Sunday, Feb 29, 2004

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`Honey production hit by drought'

By Our Staff Reporter

VISAKHAPATNAM, FEB. 28. "Consumers have brought the right recognition to the high quality honey produced by the Girijan Cooperative Corporation (GCC) but we are not able to supply it due to drop in production'', said the GCC's Vice-Chairman and Managing Director, A. Vidyasagar, here on Saturday.

There was a lot of awareness among the people of Andhra Pradesh about the natural forest produce marketed by the GCC and honey in particular showed a lot of improvement since 2002. However, the rise in demand for honey could not be met during the last six months due to drop in its production--a result of drought, he regretted. The GCC was committed to supply pure honey to its consumers and would not encourage production of honey through artificial methods or other means. With drought conditions prevailing in other States also, the GCC's efforts to import honey from outside had not been successful, he said.

The GCC had supplied 110 tonnes of honey through its 125 distributors during 2001-02, which went up to 190 tonnes the following year. However, the production had dropped drastically from May to July last year. The production of honey between June and November 2002 was 151 quintals, as much as 86 per cent less than the 1,099 quintals produced during the same period during 2002. (At present, high quality honey is sold at a slightly revised rate of Rs. 90 per half a kilogram).

The period between December 2003 and February 2004 was also not encouraging as only 304 quintals could be produced compared to 384 quintals produced during the same period in the previous year, Mr. Vidyasagar explained. He also clarified that the shortage was due to unfavourable conditions and not because of artificial scarcity or irregular control

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