Why in News:
The Ministry of Tribal affairs has approved establishment of the first multipurpose “Van Dhan Vikas Kendra” on pilot basis for establishment in Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh State for providing skill upgradation and capacity building training and setting up of primary processing and value addition facility.
Ministry: Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
Minor Forest Produce(MFP):
Section 2(i) of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, defines a Minor Forest Produce (MFP) 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 herbs, roots, tuber and the like.
Minor Forest Produce (MFP) is a major source of livelihood for tribal living in forest areas. The importance of MFPs for this section of the society can be gauged from the fact that around 100 million forest dwellers depend on MFPs for food, shelter, medicines and cash income. It provides them critical subsistence during the lean seasons, particularly for primitive tribal groups such as hunter gatherers, and the landless. Tribals derive 20-40% of their annual income from MFP on which they spend major portion of their time.
This activity has strong linkage to women’s financial empowerment as most of the MFPs are collected and used/sold by women. MFP sector has the potential to create about 10 million workdays annually in the country.
Objectives of the Scheme:
Providing Fair prices to MFP gatherers
Enhance the income of tribals.
Ensure sustainable harvesting of MFPs.
Establishment of a framework to ensure fair prices for the MFP with assurance for buying at a particular price, primary processing, storage, transportation etc.
Value addition under the Scheme:
Value addition assumes critical importance in ensuring remunerative prices to the tribals in this approach.
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.
Big Corporates shall be involved under PPP model. This PPP model will be based on utilising 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.
Benefits of the Scheme:
Socio-economic development of tribals.
Women empowerment as most of the MFP gatherers are women.
Employment generation to the tune of 10 million workdays.
Reduction in poverty.