May 03: The Ministry of Tribal Affairs has advised all states to speed up procurement operations for Minor Forest Produce to support the Tribals especially in the backdrop if the situation created by Covid19 and also keeping in view that it is now peak season for gathering of MFP.
The States have initiated the process of procurement of Minor Forest Produce and operations have begun in 10 States. Procurement of Rs. 20.30 Cr. has already been undertaken in the FY 2020-21 to date. The entire procurement operation for MFP will get a further push after the announcement of revised MSP for 49 items of forest produce by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs on 1st May, 2020 given the difficult circumstances arising out of pandemic Covid 19.
An online monitoring dashboard has been created for reporting the activities undertaken at the State level for the procurement of Minor Forest Produce. It’s called the Van Dhan Monit Dashboard, part of the “TRIFED E- Sampark Setu” being created for an exchange of information to and from every Panchayat and Van Dhan Kendra, either through Mail or Mobile. TRIFED proposes to link up with 10 lakh villages, district and state-level partners, agencies and SHGs. TheState Implementing Agencies have started updating the dashboards as the work progresses in their States.
States have appointed the Van Dhan Kendras as their primary procurement agents for MFP procurements from haat bazaars. The Van Dhan Kendras have procured around 31.35 MTs of MFPs with a value of Rs. 1.11 Cr. Under the Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan program, 1126 VDVKs have been sanctioned in 21 States and 1 UT involving 3.6 lakh tribal beneficiaries putting them on the path to the enterprise.
The scheme of Van Dhan Kendras is operational in 22 States with significant Tribal population in the country and has the potential to benefit almost 1.1 crore tribal families in the country.
The Scheme of ‘Institutional Support for Development and Marketing of Tribal Products’ has a Minimum Support Price component and a Value Addition component and aims to raise the incomes of tribal gatherers and promote enterprise among them. To ensure higher and remunerative prices to tribal gatherers, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs has issued a revised price list of MSP for MFP on 01 May 2020. This was done after due consultation with the MFP Pricing Cell and the major MFP-rich States for the benefit of the tribal gatherers in this distress times of Covid19 which has affected their livelihoods. The revised prices would provide the much-needed support for the tribal gatherers and give a boost for the MFP procurement work in the States.