Priya, born into a family of traditional farmers, had always felt a deep connection to the land. She grew up tilling the soil, sowing seeds, and reaping the rewards of her hard work. In 2016, CORD started working in Vellimalaipattinam, where Priya joined Velmurugan Mahila Mandal and started participating in farm sector activities. In 2018, CORD organized a beekeeping training program in collaboration with the TNAU agricultural extension program, which sparked a desire in her. She was attracted by this unexpected passion: beekeeping.
CORD connected her with the experts, and she embarked on her journey into the world of beekeeping. Armed with determination and an insatiable thirst for learning, she delved into the art and science of caring for bees. She attended workshops, read books, and connected with experienced beekeepers from around the region. Her genuine interest and dedication soon made her stand out as someone truly committed to the craft.
As the seasons changed, so did Priya’s life. What began as a modest curiosity transformed into a full-fledged beekeeping enterprise. She initially set up her apiary with just a handful of beehives, meticulously attending to each one. Her genuine care for her bees and her meticulous attention to detail paid off as her colonies thrived, producing golden streams of honey that quickly gained a reputation for their exceptional quality. She started earning an additional income of Rs.6000 per month from beekeeping.
However, Priya’s journey wasn’t without challenges. There were times when unexpected weather patterns threatened her hives or when she had to navigate the complexities of colony health and disease prevention. But each setback only fueled her determination to learn and improve. CORD educated her about the importance of working capital and showed her a way to handle economic stress. She joined Velmurugan SHG to save her hard-earned money and for financial assistance when her business was facing troubles. Priya took her troubles as stepping stones, networked with experts through CORD, adjusted her strategies, and never shied away from getting her hands dirty in the process.
Word of Priya’s success began to spread beyond Vellimalipattinam. Priya also wanted to share her knowledge with the other farmers and serve her community. Other farmer club members and aspiring beekeepers from neighboring villages sought her guidance and expertise. Recognizing her deep knowledge and genuine passion, Priya was soon approached by the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University and local authorities to conduct workshops and training sessions on beekeeping. Initially hesitant, she eventually embraced this new role, realizing that she could make a meaningful impact by sharing her experiences and insights.
Now her workshops are a big hit. Her warm and approachable demeanor, coupled with her profound understanding of beekeeping, made her a beloved resource person. She covered topics ranging from hive management to sustainable practices and even delved into the crucial role bees play in pollination and ecosystem balance. Through her workshops, countless individuals, both young and old, gained a newfound appreciation for bees and the vital role they play in our world. Priya became a shareholder of Siruvani Uzhavar Producer Company Limited (facilitated by CORD) and started selling her Honey based products in its retail outlets.
Today, Priya stands as a beacon of success, a woman who transformed her curiosity into expertise and her passion into a vocation. Her journey from being a farmer to becoming a renowned beekeeping resource person is a testament to the potential that lies within each of us to create a positive ripple effect in the world. Through her dedication, Priya not only cultivated thriving hives but also nurtured a community of bee enthusiasts, pollinator advocates, and inspired minds who continue to carry forward her legacy of empowerment and environmental stewardship.