The ‘Mechanism for Marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) through Minimum Support Price (MSP) & Development of Value Chain for MFP’has come as a beacon of change in the past two years in Chhattisgarh.
Conceptualised and implemented by TRIFED led by Union Tribal Welfare Minister Arjun Munda in association with Chhattisgarh Government Agencies across 21 states of the country, the tribal welfare scheme has emerged as a source of great relief for tribal gatherers injecting more than Rs 3000 crores directly in the tribal economy, says Union Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda.
He said that Chhattisgarh has come up as a model state by procuring 91,208.69 Metrictonnes of Minor forest produces worth a whopping Rs 235.89 crores. The State government put all its might behind the implementation of the MSP for MFP Scheme and the systems and processes for procurement were laid across all districts.
The State of Chhattisgarh have a well-established set-up for procurement of MFPs across all Districts with around 4969 procurement centers being present. The State has also leveraged its extensive network of Van Dhan SHGs and VDVKCs. Under the Van Dhan Scheme total of 4170 VD SHG have been sanctioned which are subsumed into 139 VDVK Clusters. This is benefiting 41,700 forest tribal gatherers in the State. These Van DhanVikasKendrasare being developed in strategically located villages to develop Clusters as focal points of growth.
Over the last two years, TRIFED has sanctioned 39,614 VD SHGs in Tribal Clusters. The VD SHGs have been subsumed into 2389 VDVK Clusters with this, 7.11 Lakhs Tribal Forest Gatherers are being on boarded under the program out of the targeted 1 Million Tribal Households.
In the State of Chhattisgarh, out of these 139 VDVKCs, 53 have entered into post-production stage and have achieved cumulative sales of Rs. 3.44 Crores. A noteworthy example is the VDVKC in Ghotiya, Jagdalpur which has been able to successfully process tamarind into products such astamarind brick, deseeded baheda and have able to sell them at Rs 100/kg.
The VDVKC of AasnaJagdalpurhas been successfully able to produce multiple products such as candies, agarbattis and have been able to sell them around Rs 700-1000/ kg. Imli Chaska and Imli Candies being produced by tribal VD SHG members are currently upgrading their packaging with the help of ESDP training partners and these products are being marketed under Chhattisgarh brand.
To take these initiatives further, TRIFED has embarked upon setting up of TRIFOOD parks in Jagdalpur (Chhattisgarh) in convergence with MoFPI& NSTFDC. Being implemented by TRIFED, Ministry of Tribal Affairs in association with Ministry of Food Processing (MoFPI), TRIFOOD project, which was launched on August 20, 2020, aims to enhance income of tribals through better utilization of and value addition to the MFPs collected by the tribal forest gatherers.
The multi-commodity processing unit is the first of its kind to be established at Burundwara, Semra, Jagdalpur, Bastar, Chhattisgarh. It is targeting the improvement of the livelihood of tribal communities located at Chhattisgarh and nearby states of Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.
The primary objective of TRIFOOD projects is to provide modern infrastructure facilities for the processing of MFPs along the value chain directly from the farm and forest to the market. It will include creation of processing infrastructure near the tribal and forest areas.
The main feature of the TRIFOOD Parks is to facilitate processing of locally available Minor Forest Products (MFP) collected by local tribals under Van DhanVikasKendras in the vicinity so that value addition of the MFPs can directly benefit the Van DhanVikasKendras aiming at socio-economic development in the tribal catchment areas and creating new livelihood opportunities throughout the year. TRIFOOD Projects will be demand-driven and will facilitate food processing units to meet all environmental and safety standards as per laws of the land.
TRIFED continues in its mission to effect a complete transformation of tribal lives and livelihoods across the country and progress towards an Atmanirbhar Bharat.