Punjab Agricultural Management & Extension Training Institute (PAMETI), PAU Campus organized an awareness program on ‘Upcoming Quality Standards of Honey’ on 25 October. Sh Kahan Singh Pannu, Secretary Agriculture & Soil Conservation and Food Commissioner, Punjab and Dr Parminder Singh, Joint Director Agriculture (Marketing), Punjab inaugurated the programme. The programme was attended by 79 trainees who included bee-keepers, honey traders and exporters from Punjab, Agriculture Extension Officers (Marketing) and officials from AGMARK labs.
Sh. Kahan Singh Pannu, while inaugurating the programme, emphasized that quality standards of honey are going to change/update next year in Jan, 2019, which will help to address the problem of adulteration. He also motivated the farmers to come forward to raise the voice and take initiative against all those involved in adulteration. He said we all have to collectively handle the issues of adulteration and marketing also, so that farmers can get better price of their produce.
Dr HS Dhaliwal, Director, PAMETI, in his welcome address, said that honey production is a major occupation in Punjab state and we all should adhere to the changing standards so that our production can be accepted nationally & internationally. Rupinder Kaur, Deputy Director (HRM), PAMETI revealed that the objective of this workshop is to create awareness among bee-keepers of the state about the changing quality standards/parameters of honey, expected to be implemented from next year, so that the required quality parameters can be met by the honey producers.
Dr Ajit Dua, CEO & Sr. Scientist, Punjab Biotechnology Incubator, Mohali apprised about the upcoming FSSAI standards for quality, safety and authentic testing of honey. Dr PK Chhuneja, Head, Department of Entomology and Dr Jaspal Singh from Entomology, PAU also interacted with participants and made them aware about scientific bee keeping and quality honey production. Mr Chirag Gadi, Technical Officer from FSSAI, New Delhi enlightened the bee-keepers regarding honey adulterations & its implications and explained the standard setting procedure in FSSAI through scientific panels, scientific committee & food authority. The draft so prepared is released for inviting public comments. After considering all comments, standards are finalized. It was also clarified that standards are formed keeping in view Codex, EU & Domestic standards. If there is scope of improvement, then standards are amended from time to time.
All the participants practically discussed their problems with Sh Kahan Singh Pannu and other experts. They urged Sh Pannu to strictly address the issue of adulteration and take strict actions against those who are indulged in unscrupulous activities.