New Delhi: In line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for 'Atmanirbhar Bharat,' aligned to the slogan of 'Be Vocal for Local, Buy Tribal,' TRIFED is collaborating with NITI Aayog to implement the Van Dhan Yojana in the districts that have been identified as aspirational districts by NITI Aayog. As a follow-up for the implementation of the Van Dhan Yojana in the tribal aspirational districts, the TRIFED team briefed about the Van Dhan Yojana to the DMs/DCs of aspirational districts in a meeting on July 23, chaired by NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant.
The Van Dhan tribal start-ups and the mechanism for marketing of minor forest produce (MFP) through minimum support price (MSP) and Development of Value Chain for MFP’ Scheme that provides MSP to gatherers of forest produces and introduces value addition and marketing through tribal groups and clusters are among the many initiatives of TRIFED, Ministry of Tribal Affairs that have proved helpful by generating employment and income for the tribal population.
These initiatives, spearheaded by TRIFED, exemplify MFP-led Tribal Development in mission mode. Tribals have been made legal owners of MFP in their areas. The minimum support price (MSP) has been announced for several MFPs. Under the programme, the processing and value-addition to MFP will be done in well-equipped common facility centres which are to be called Van Dhan Vikas Kendra.
As per TRIFED, 37,904 Van Dhan Vikas Kendras (VDVKs), subsumed into 2,275 Van Dhan Vikas Kendra Clusters (VDVKCs) of 300 forest dwellers each, have been sanctioned by TRIFED, as of date. A typical Van Dhan Vikas Kendra includes 20 tribal members. 15 such Van Dhan Vikas Kendras form 1 Van Dhan Vikas Kendra cluster. The Van Dhan Vikas Kendra Clusters will provide the Van Dhan Vikas Kendras economies of scale, livelihood and market linkages, as well as entrepreneurship opportunities to nearly 6.77 lakh Tribal forest gatherers in 27 states and 2 UTs. 50 lakh tribals have been impacted by the Van Dhan start-ups programme up until now.
This plan has proved to be a boon during pandemic times with dwindling livelihoods for the marginalised. With good planning and implementation, TRIFED and its State Agency partners in 27 states, have brought about a paradigm shift in the program outcomes.
TRIFED’s Van Dhan Yojana is in different stages of implementation in the 124 districts which have been declared as aspirational districts. In these districts, the classification has been done based on the percentage of the tribal population as well as the economic feasibility of the formation of VDVKCs in the district. TRIFED is already working in 65 Aspirational Districts where 521 Van Dhan Clusters (VDVKCs) have been sanctioned involving 1.55 lakh tribal beneficiaries. This can be extended to all tribal clusters of aspirational districts.
Out of the 41 aspirational districts under Category-I with Tribal Population more than 50 percent, VDVKCs are sanctioned in 39 aspirational districts which include districts in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Telangana and Tripura.
The collaboration and partnership with NITI Aayog along with the support of the collectors and other district officials are aimed at a complete transformation of the tribal ecosystem across the country.
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