The forest department has started issuing passes to honey collectors from Tuesday.
Annual honey collection usually begins in April and ends in June, and a three-month pass is issued by authorities for collecting wax from beehives in the Sundarbans. But this year, it will begin 15 days before.
“As honeycombs are already filled with honey, we have decided to issue permits to the collectors a fortnight before this year,” said Dr Abu Naser Mohsin Hossain, forest officer of the Sundarbans east division.
“Every year, honey collectors traditionally known as ‘Mowal’ collect honey from hives without any permission and later nothing remains for the permitted collectors,” he added.
Mihir Kumar Dey, forest conservator of Khulna circle, said that permits will be given from Tuesday in Khulna and Satkhira forest ranges.
“This year, taxes on honey and wax collections from the Sunderbans have been increased to Tk 6 per kg and Tk 2 per kg, respectively,” he said.
According to a gazette notification issued on February 26 this year, the tax for honey collection was fixed at Tk 1,600 per quintal, which was Tk1,000 earlier.
Meanwhile, the tax on wax collection has been fixed at Tk 2,200 per quintal from the earlier Tk 2,000.
According to the forest department, in the 2020-2021 fiscal year, 5,80,240 kg of honey and wax have been collected from the Sundarbans.
The government earned a revenue of Tk 46,86,413 from the collected honey and wax from the forest in the last fiscal.
According to documents, honey collection in the Sundarbans began in 1860. A community living adjacent to the forest known as ‘Mowal’ collects honey as successors.
The Mowals have a tradition of offering a special prayer before they begin the annual honey collection.
Source: United News of Bangladesh