Reaching out to disadvantaged tribal sections of society, the government has launched a 100-day drive to activate the Van Dhan Vikas Kendras in about 1,500 villages across the country.
Sankalp se Siddhi, a village and digital connect drive which aims to aid a complete transformation of the tribal ecosystem has been launched by Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) under the Tribal Affairs Ministry.
Starting from April 1 this year, this 100-day drive will entail 150 teams, 10 in each region, from TRIFED and state implementation agencies or mentoring agencies visiting 10 villages each.
At least 100 villages in each region and 1,500 villages in the country will be covered in the next 100 days. "The main aim of this drive is to activate the Van Dhan Vikas Kendras in these villages," according to the Tribal Affairs Ministry.
The regional officials of TRIFED across the country went to identify villages with a significant tribal population and supervised the implementation of the various programmes and initiatives earlier in 2021 under the Village and Digital connect initiative.
Among all of TRIFED's initiatives that have been put in place to help the disadvantaged tribal sections of the society, the scheme, Mechanism for Marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP), through minimum support price (MSP) and development of value chain for MFP that provides MSP to gatherers of forest produce and introduces value addition and marketing through tribal groups and clusters and Van Dhan Vikas Kendras (VDVK) has found widespread acceptance across the country.
Especially during the pandemic in 2020, the VDVK scheme has emerged as a panacea for the tribals, said the Ministry.
The objective of the MSP for MFP scheme is to establish a framework for ensuring fair prices for the tribal gatherers, primary processing, storage, transportation while ensuring sustainability of the resource base, addressing the problems tribals are facing such as perishable nature of produce, lack of holding capacity, lack of marketing infrastructure, exploitation by middlemen, and timely government intervention.
Once the VDVK scheme is activated in 1,500 villages, the Ministry said sales of approximately Rs 200 crore is expected during the next 12 months. \
The visiting teams will also identify locations and shortlist potential VDVKs for clustering as TRIFOOD, and SFURTI units as larger enterprises.
They will also identify tribal artisans and other groups and empanel them as suppliers so that they can have access to larger markets through the Tribes India network — both physical outlets and TribesIndia.com, according to the Ministry.
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