Union Minister of Tribal Affairs, Arjun Munda informed that under the minimum support price (MSP) for minor forest produce (MFP) scheme, the cumulative procurement of ₹ 1841.74 crore has been made by states i.e. ₹ 321.02 crore using GOI funds and ₹ 1520.72 crore using the state funds in last two years including ₹ 821.48 crore during the current financial year. Over the past two years, The ‘Mechanism for Marketing of MFP through MSP and development of value chain for MFP’ has impacted the tribal ecosystem in a major way. It was noted that the Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) has been implementing several noteworthy programmes for the empowerment of the tribals.
The Minister further said that this has helped in ensuring fair and remunerative prices to the tribal gatherers for their produce and also raising market procurement at prices above MSP announced by the Government. Started in 2013-14 with 10 minor forests produce items covering 9 states and impacting approximately 1 lakhs tribal families, the scheme is now expanded to 22 states covering 87 MFP items impacting 25 lakhs families. Total procurement has gone up from ₹ 30 crores in 2014-15 to Rs. 1870 crores in 2020-21. A phenomenal increase in the value of procurement by private trade has also been reported.
He added that “It is noteworthy that TRIFED has been consistently bringing out new initiatives that take care of all aspects of tribal empowerment. Through this innovative connect programme, now information dissemination can happen both ways and lead to further development of initiatives and help our tribal brethren. ”
Van Dhan was introduced as “Tribal Start-Ups” for value addition, branding, packing and marketing of forest and other tribal produces through tribal gatherers. As per the TRIFED, under Van Dhan Yojana, the establishment of 37,872 VDVKs have been sanctioned against the Sankalp Patra target of 50,000 VDVKs in tribal area, which are subsumed into 2274 VDVK clusters directly benefitting 6.76 lakh beneficiaries. The target of setting up 50,000 VDVKs incorporating 10 lakh tribal entrepreneurs has to be completed by July 30, 2021.