NEW DELHI: With focus on
, Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) is all set to focus on working in collaboration with the National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB) of the ministry of AYUSH to grow medicinal aromatic plants on around 100 acres of land across states in
and value add to the same for enhancing marketing possibilities.
TRIFED has also reached out to the ministry of environment and forests and also state government to explore assigning small tracts of land for cultivation of non-timber forest produce around tribal villages to enable creation of avenues for livelihood.
These steps are part of the various measures being taken to bolster livelihood opportunities. Sharing the steps taken so far, TRIFED managing director Pravir Krishan said that as far as status of implementation of flagship scheme minimum support price for minor forest produce during the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns goes, procurement of MFP has been initiated in 17 states with total procurement for the year so far touching Rs 2000 crore and it provides a direct benefit transfer to tribal people in lieu of their MFP.
The Covid-19 relief plan from the Centre provides for assistance to states for expanding the collection, procurement, harvesting and processing of MFPs. the MSP for MFP scheme would get a Rs 1300 crore boost, as per the TRIFED press statement.
Speaking about convergence with concerned ministries to bolster value addition to MFPs, TRIFED managing director Pravir Krishna also spoke about cultivation of non-timber forest produce. “So far when it comes to cultivation in forest areas it is about timber and
. We are now trying to draw focus towards planned cultivation of certain kinds of non-timber forest produce around tribal villages where the SHGs running Van Dhan centres can develop and use the produce to value add for sale in markets,” Krishna added.
Though an MoU between TRIFED and NMPB was signed in 2018, the on ground execution is expected to finally see the light of the day now that 1200 plus Van Dhan Vikas Kendra for value addition to forest produce have been established across 22 states. Operated through 18000
Self Help Groups
, these centres as per TRIFED are expected to provide employment opportunities to 3.6 lakh tribal gatherers across 22 States.
Under the MoU both agencies have committed to identify potential medicinal plant species in tribal areas, support skill building, facilitate and provide financial assistance for plantations through the Van Dhan Kendra SHGs and standardisation of norms for medicinal plants.