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The Centre has set in motion the process for digital linkages and grassroot-level monitoring to ensure proper implementation of the Van Dhan programme for development of the value chain for 50 minor forest produce (non-timber) items covered by minimum support price.

Using the existing network of 3.78 lakh citizen service points under CSC e-governance Services India Limited, a special purpose vehicle of ministry of electronics and IT (MeitY), there are plans to provide localised IT based help desk support and banking services to tribals involved in gathering of MFPs.

“As per an Memorandum of Understanding signed by Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) and the SPV, there is on the cards a survey of Van Dhan stakeholders starting from the 10,000 village Haat Bazaars in coordination with district collectors of the 307 districts across 27 states,” TRIFED, managing director, Pravir Krishna shared.

The citizen service centres will also be involved in enrolment of tribal households engaged in gathering MFP in the Van Dhan self-help group network. These centres will take up the role of the local IT resource centre and report prevailing MFP market prices and arrivals of stocks at haat bazaars. They would disseminate information on MFP stocks in warehouses and market linkages.

The MSP for MFP scheme was first launched in 2013 but largely remained a non-starter in most tribal dominant states due to severe gaps in the implementation process. Now under the revamped plan, the government plans to set-up 6,000 Van Dhan vikas kendras (over two years) each comprising of 10 Van Dhan self help groups.

In an outreach to the tribal belt before the Lok Sabha polls, the government in February made a public launch of the revised minimum support price regime for 50 non-timber minor forest produce items across 27 states. The revision is seen as an attempt to enable tribals dependent on the forest to get a fair price for their produce. A revised MSP in the range of 30 to 40% on average was notified in December last year.

Potential for marketing of MFP across 307 tribal districts is expected to cover about 1.1 crore tribal households and 5.5 crore tribal population dwelling in forest areas.

As per the new guidelines which have been shared with states, the procurement of these MFPs will commence in haat bazars, where tribals bring their produce with the facilitation provided by state government agencies and district collectors.


Autor(en)/Author(s): Ambika Pandit

Quelle/Source: The Times of India, 21.04.2019

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