Banas Dairy starts honey testing lab in Gujarat

AHMEDABAD, May 22 Banas Dairy has inaugurated Gujarat’s first honey testing laboratory at the Banas Dairy complex in Badarpura near Palanpur in north Gujarat.

Besides testing its own banana honey and Amul honey products, the new state-of-the-art laboratory will also be open to other cooperatives under the Amul umbrella to conduct tests on honey quality and purity.

Talking to Business lineSangram Chowdhury, Managing Director of Banas Dairy, said, “The central government funded us for the laboratory. Earlier, we used to send samples to Germany. Later, one central laboratory was set up in NDDB, Anand. But the cost was too much earlier. Now With the in-house testing facility, we will be able to run the tests at a very reasonable cost. Also, the time taken for the tests will drop from the previous 15-20 days to around 6 days.”

“At the moment we are not opening to private honey lovers,” he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised the development. In a tweet on Sunday, the PM wrote, “When it comes to innovation, @banasdairy1969 has always been ahead. Good to see such an important step towards boosting India’s strides in sweet revolution. The honey mill will be very beneficial to the sector.”

A presentation about the lab shared by Shankar Chaudhary, President of Banas Dairy, stated that dairy has been encouraging farmers and dairy producers to get involved in honey bee farming since 2016. The small effort that started with just two experimental beehives kept at Banas’ headquarters in October 2016, Albanians achieved honey production of 1,60,533 kg between 2020 and 2023 with more than 5,000 farmers covered under it.

Banas Dairy’s Banas Honey was launched in December 2016, while Amul Honey was launched in September 2021.

The banana honey model works through a team of 4-5 people in villages, called honey bee cooperatives (mandalis honey bees). These mandalis set up the bee box at the preferred sites and extracted the honey in the presence of executives from the Dairy Federation. Then the honey is brought to the dairy processing center, where it is filtered at normal temperature and packaged after testing is completed.
The center puts a special direction in beekeeping to encourage honey production at the village level and increase the number of farmers in itCome. A National Beekeeping Board (NBB) was created under which a special scheme was launched for the National Beekeeping and Honey Mission (NBHM). Under the scheme, 16 small honey testing laboratories have been approved in the states of Bihar (No. 1), Karnataka (3), Madhya Pradesh (1), Maharashtra (1), Rajasthan (1), Jammu and Kashmir (4), Uttar Pradesh (2) West Bengal (2) and Himachal Pradesh (1), while three regional/large honey testing laboratories in Delhi, Gujarat and Karnataka were sanctioned.