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Ministry of Tribal Affairs to expand Van Dhan Vikas Kendras

Ministry of Tribal Affairs to expand Van Dhan Vikas Kendras

The Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA), Government of India proposes to expand Van Dhan Vikas Kendras in Tribal Districts across the country.

As per the plan,TRIFED will facilitate establishment of MFP-led multi-purpose Van Dhan Vikas Kendras, a cluster of 10 SHGs comprising of 30 tribal MFP gatherers each, in the tribal areas. This initiative is aimed at mainstreaming the tribal community by promoting primary level value addition to MFP at grassroots level.Through this initiative, the share of tribals in the value chain of Non-Timber Forest Produce is expected to rise from the present 20% to around 60%. About 3000 such Van Dhan Kendras are proposed to be set up in two years in the forested Tribal Districts of the country.To begin with, this initiative is proposed to be taken up on priority in the 39 Districts with more than 50% tribal population and to then gradually be expanded to other Tribal Districts in India.

The scheme will be implemented through Ministry of Tribal Affairs as Nodal Department at the Central Level and TRIFED as Nodal Agency at the National Level. At State level, the State Nodal Agency for MFPs and the District collectors are envisaged to play a pivot role in scheme implementation at grassroot level. Locally the Kendras are proposed to be managed by a Managing Committee (an SHG) consisting of representatives of Van Dhan SHGs in the cluster.

The initiative aims to promoteMFPs-centriclivelihood development of tribal gatherers and artisans. MFP or what may be more aptly referred to as Non Timber Forest Produces (NTFPs) are the primary source of income and livelihood for about 5 crore tribal people in the country. Notably, most of the tribal Districts in India are forested Districts. Tribals have enormous traditional skills in the processes involved in collection and value addition of NTFPs. Based on local skills and resources the ideal model of tribal development has, therefore, to be NTFP centric.

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