Agriculture World

Record Procurement of Forest Produce Does Well for the Tribal Society

Saumy Deepak Tripathi
Saumy Deepak Tripathi

The Ministry of Tribal affairs announced an all-time procurement of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) of Rs.79.42 crores under the Minimum Support Price Scheme. The procurement drive was conducted in almost 16 states. The combined procurement for the year after combining government and private trade has crossed Rs.2000 crores. This comes at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic had led to a lockdown in India which severely affected the lives of the tribals.

Chattisgarh was the biggest contributor with 20270 Metric tonnes(MTs) of MFP amounting to Rs.52.80 crores followed by Odisha(9908 MT) and Gujarat(155 MTs) which produced Rs.21.32crores and 1.61 crores respectively. The success story of Chattisgarh can be attributed to its vast forest area with efficient implementation from the state government. There are a total of 886 collection centers across the state.

The government in 2018 launched the Van Dhan scheme to implement rules related to Minor Forest Produce to better the lives of the tribals at the grassroots levels. The scheme had talked about the establishment of Self Help Groups called Vand Dhan Vikas ‘Samuh’ a group of 30 members to modernise the agroforestry industry. Chattisgarh has 139 of these Sshgs that has enabled it to perform better.

The figures also show that the agroforestry industry can be a viable source of income in these times when reverse migration is happening in large numbers and there is pressure on the rural economy.

The government claims that the Van Dhan Yojana has provided benefits to almost 3.6 lakh farmers in 22 states

The government looking at the torrid times of Covid-19 raised the MSP for MFP on May 1, 2020, so that the already ailing rural economy could be saved. The Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) is the nodal agency that is working under the implementation of these schemes under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs has been conducting awareness on these issues with the help of UNICEF, WHO and Ministry of Tribal Affairs.

The government hopes that once the economy is completely opened the demand for these will also increase and there is a bright future for the Agroforestry Sector.

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