Van Dhan groups to be rolled out in a few months

The ‘Van Dhan’ self-help groups proposed by Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) to ensure minimum support price to Minor Forest Produce (MFP), develop value chain and establish market linkages is likely to be rolled out in the next three to four months.

According to officials, the State-level advocacy workshops are being conducted now. “The fourth such workshop was held recently in the State. It will be followed by the district and block-level plans. After that, it will be rolled out,” TRIFED Advisor Pramod Merkap says.

Van Dhan SHGs are proposed to be functioned through 6,000 Vikas Kendras in 307 districts in India.

According to the officials, the ‘aspirational districts’ will get the first preference. Each Kendra will get a financial support of ₹15 lakh. The Centre will provide 75% of the funds, while the rest will be footed by the State government concerned.

“At the State-level, funds will mobilised by Girijan Co-operative Corporations,” Mr. Merkap says.

Market potential

Describing the formation of ‘Van Dhan’ groups as a path-breaking initiative, Mr. Merkap exudes confidence that it would boost to the tribal economy and empower the population as the MFP has a market potential of ₹20,000 crore.

“The MSP of ₹25 for tamarind could touch ₹60 after the value addition. The same holds good for mahua from which liquor could be brewed,” Mr. Merkap explains. He agrees with the demand to include more items under the MFP and expand the list from the present 50. “It is a process and more MFP will be brought under it in phases,” he asserts. The MSP for MFP is being implemented by some States from 2014-15 fiscal year and in Andhra Pradesh from 2015-16.

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Printable version | Oct 25, 2020 12:08:30 AM |

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