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TNAU students process honey under earn while you learn programme

Department of Agricultural Entomology, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore is offering an experiential learning course, Commercial Beekeeping to the final year students of B.Sc. Hons (Agri), B.Sc. Hons (Hort) and ABM programmes. 

Under this course, to make the students as entrepreneurs, a mini honey processing project was formulated which involves honey processing, packing and sale during holidays and to share the profit earned among the students. 

This project was inaugurated by the Vice Chancellor of TNAU, Dr.V.Geethalakshmi at the Insectary, Department of Agricultural Entomology in the presence of Dr.R.Thamizh Vendan, (Registrar), Dr.M.Shanthi, (Director, Center for Plant Protection Studies), Dr.N.Venkatesa Palanichamy, (Dean, Agriculture), Dr.P.Irene Vethamoni, (Dean, Horticulture), Dr.V. Balasubramanian, (Controller of Examinations), Dr.M.K.Kalarani, Director, Crop Management,  Dr. N. Maragatham, (Dean, Students Welfare), Dr.D.Somasundaram, (Director, Agri Business Development), Dr. P.P.Murugan, (Director, Extension Education), Dr.A.Raviraj (Dean, Engg.), Dr. M.Muthuswamy, Deputy Registrar and Heads of various Departments. 

In general, raw honey is having more than 20 per cent moisture content and yeast cells which will lead to the fermentation and deterioration of honey during storage. In order to bring down the moisture content and to destroy the yeast cells honey should be processed. In this context, the students demonstrated the steps in honey processing viz., Extraction, heating, straining, filtering, cooling and bottling to eliminate the yeast cells present in the raw honey and reduce the moisture content below 20 per cent in order to get the good quality honey which can be stored for two years.  

Moreover, various purity tests viz., fiehe test, fructose–glucose ratio test, hydroxymethyl furfural test, total reducing sugar test and moisture test were demonstrated by the students. Under this programme, raw honey will be processed at Honey Processing Unit available at the Department of Entomology, TNAU, Coimbatore and sold @ Rs.200 for 500gm and Rs.50 for 100gm. The students are expected to earn a profit of Rs.85,000/- within two months period (June and July 2023) by involving them in honey processing, packing and sale. This programme will serve as a model for promoting entrepreneur skill among the under graduate students.

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