TRIFED and NITI Aayog will implement Van Dhan initiative in tribal aspirational districts

New Delhi: TRIFED will partner with NITI Aayog to implement the Van Dhan Yojana in the districts that have been identified as aspirational districts by NITI Aayog. "Based on the discussions held recently between NITI Aayog’s CEO Amitabh Kant and TRIFED’s Managing Director Pravir Krishna, it has been decided that a dedicated team from TRIFED along with the NITI Aayog team will work out the follow-up-plan for the implementation of the ‘Van Dhan Yojana’ in each of the 39 tribal aspirational districts," the federation said in a press statement released Monday.

These include districts in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Telangana and Tripura. To this accord, a VC will be planned with the District Collectors of all districts in the first week of June.

As a part of this association, a special focus will be on these aspirational districts where the tribal population constitutes more than 50 percent. Under the expansion plan of the tribal development program, an additional 9,900 VDVKs subsumed into 659 VDVK clusters spread out in these tribal aspirational districts are envisaged. At the moment, 5,325 VDVKs subsumed into 355 VDVK Clusters have been established in these districts. This is expected to give a boost to the employment generation to nearly 2 lakh tribal families.

Through this association, NITI Aayog will also support TRIFED in the concept of convergence for the mission and STC component of different ministries and will help in professionally monitoring and promotion for effective implementation and feedback.

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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 introduce 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.

The Van Dhan tribal start-ups is a programme for value addition, branding and marketing of minor forest produces by establishing Van Dhan Kendras to facilitate the creation of sustainable livelihoods for the forest-based tribes.

37,259 Van Dhan Vikas Kendras (VDVKs), subsumed into 2,224 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 6.67 lakh Tribal forest gatherers in 23 states and 2 UTs. 50 lakh tribals have been impacted by the Van Dhan start-ups programme up until now.

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