The Ministry of Tribal Affairs has given its approval for the establishment of the first ever multipurpose ‘Van Dhan Vikas Kendra’ on pilot basis in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh for providing skill upgradation and capacity building training and setting up of primary processing and value addition facility.
KEY-DETAILS OF THE VIKAS KENDRA :-
- This first model Van Dhan Vikas Kendra is being implemented for the training of 300 beneficiaries with a total outlay of Rs. 43.38 lakhs for the purpose of training, providing equipments and tool for primary level processing and infrastructure and building for housing the Kendra.
- This Kendra will have processing facility for Tamarind brick making, Mahua flower storage facility and chironjee cleaning and packaging.
- Implementation: TRIFED has assigned the work for establishment of the pilot project in Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh to CGMFP Federation and Collector; Bijapur would be the coordinating force.
How the Scheme will work :-
- Value addition facility: Value addition assumes critical importance in ensuring remunerative prices to the tribal in this approach. Under the scheme, three stage value additions would be the corner stone for enhancing incomes of the tribal.
- The grass root level procurement is proposed to be undertaken through SHGs associated with implementing Agencies.
- Convergence and Networking with other Govt. departments/scheme shall be undertaken to utilise the services of existing SHGs like Ajeevika, etc.
- These SHGs shall be appropriately trained on sustainable harvesting/collection, primary processing & value addition and be formed into clusters so as to aggregate their stock in tradable quantity and linking them with facility of primary processing in a Van Dhan Vikas Kendra.
- The stock after primary processing shall be supplied by these SHGs to the State Implementing Agencies or direct tie up for supply to corporate secondary processor.
- For creation of secondary level value addition facility at district level and tertiary level value addition facility at State level, Big Corporate shall be involved under PPP model.
- This PPP model will be based on utilizing Private entrepreneur skills in undertaking processing as well as marketing of the produce and Central/ State Govt. support in terms of creating infrastructure and providing enabling environment for undertaking value addition of systematic scientific lines.
- These will be sophisticated large value addition hubs managed by Private entrepreneurs.
MINOR FOREST PRODUCE (MFP) :-
- Minor Forest Produce (MFP) is defined as all non-timber forest produce of plant origin and includes bamboo, brushwood, stumps, canes, Tusser, cocoon, honey, waxes, Lac, tendu/kendu leaves, medicinal plants and herb, roots, tuber under Section 2(i) of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognitions of Forest Rights) Act, 2006.
- MFP is a major source of livelihood for the tribal people in forest area, about 100 million forest dwellers depend on MFPs for food, shelter, medicines and cash incomes.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE KENDRA :-
- The Van Dhan Vikas Kendras will be an important milestone in economic development of tribal involved in collection of Minor Food Produces (MFPs) by helping them in optimum utilization of natural resources and provide sustainable MFP-based livelihood in MFP-rick districts.
- Source of livelihood: MFP provides tribal people critical subsistence during the lean season; they derive 20-40% of their annual income from MFP on which they spend major portion of their time.
- Women empowerment: Moreover, this activity has strong linkage to women’s financial empowerment as most of the MFPs are collected, used/sold by women.
- Increase in annual workdays: This sector has the potential to create about 10 million workdays annually in the country.
The scheme will contribute in socio-economic development of tribal and generate employment opportunities. Moreover, the scheme will help in empowering women as the most of the MFP gatherers are women and thus, improving standard of living and reducing poverty.