Tribal Co-operative Marketing Development Federation of India Limited (TRIFED), Ministry of Tribal Affairs, and Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, have joined hands to better the livelihoods of the tribals by providing them with agro-based training.
TRIFED is an agency, primarily engaged in the marketing of tribal traditional products including handicrafts and natural products. It aims to improve the livelihoods of the tribal communities by creating a market as well as business opportunities and also ensuring them fair and equitable remuneration.
Taking the efforts a step forward, the federation has tied up with the agricultural university, a first of its kind in the country, to establish a tribal training centre in TNAU to impart training to the tribals on precision farming and other agricultural techniques, and cultivation of medicinal herbs and other commercial crops.
Inking the MoU at TNAU on Thursday, Jiji Thomson, Managing Director of TRIFED, termed the partnership a landmark achievement that would empower the tribals.
“To begin with, the training programmes will be for those tribes in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala. Gradually, all the value-additions of the MoU will be extended to tribals in other States too. We will take appropriate technologies of the university to the tribals to enable them easily adopt the same,” Mr. Thomson said.
“To begin with, 500 tribals would be trained in honey bee keeping. The university had provided 1,200 sq ft of space to TRIFED. Other training programmes would include mushroom cultivation, vermi composting, residual briquetting, fibre extraction from banana sheath, value addition, etc,” P. Murugesa Boopathi, Vice-Chancellor of TNAU, said.
Pointing out that development activities were on a low ebb for tribals in the South when compared to the North, Mr. Thomson said State Governments in the South needed to provide at least 10 acres so that tribal training centres and exclusive tribal selling outlets could be set up.
Some States in the North had provided this facility, he added.