Neema Ramesh Bilkule is a beekeeper of a rural and remote village of Maharastra State. The 78 percent of the villages of this region have been declared dry from the local Government. The drought pushed away families who practice subsistence farming to migrate to the cities. Every two weeks, she walks for two kilometers until reach her beehives. Neema and the other farmers of the village became beekeepers thanks to the training promoted by the NGO Under The Mango Tree. The productivity of their crop increase from 30 to 60 percent in crops that benefit from pollination, like tomatoes, guava, mango, and aubergine. Beyond the economic benefits are the health of Vimal and Neema’s families – they are getting stronger every day, especially during the monsoon when the heavy rains are causing fever and flu.
Researchers from Harvard University published a study in the scientific journal The Lancet about the possible nutritional consequences of the disappearance of pollinators. Without them, the worldwide market could lose the 23 percent of fruit, the 16 of vegetable and the 22 of seeds and nuts. Among them, 71 million people could suffer malnutrition and lack of vitamin A, while 173 million could suffer a shortage of folic acid. Both these micronutrients are key to good health. Pregnant women and children could be the most affected, with an increased chance of mortality caused by infectious diseases, blindness, and neural tube defects.