The Ministry of Tribal Affairs and TRIFED took the initiative for the Van Dhan Scheme. The main objective is to improve tribal incomes through value addition of tribal products, launched on 14th April 2018.
At State level, the State Nodal Agency for MFPs and the District collectors are envisaged to play a pivot role in scheme implementation at the grassroots level. The Kendra’s are proposed to be managed by a Managing Committee (an SHG) consisting of representatives of Van Dhan SHGs in the cluster. The scheme will be started through Ministry of Tribal Affairs as main Department at the Central Level and TRIFED as Nodal Agency at the National Level.
Minor Forest Produce
A major source of livelihood for tribals living in the forest is Minor Forest Produce (MFP). The commitment of MFPs for this section of the society can be gauged from the fact that around 100 million forest people are on MFPs for food, shelter, medicines and cash income. It provides them necessary subsistence during the down seasons, particularly for primitive tribal groups such as hunter-gatherers, and the landless. Tribals derive 20-40% of their annual income from MFP on which they spend a major portion of their time. This activity has a strong linkage to women’s financial empowerment as most of the MFPs are collected and used/sold by women. MFP sector has the potential to create about 10 million workdays annually in the country.
- At the unit level, the growth of produce would be done by SHGs having about 30 members each forming Van Dhan Vikas ‘Samuh’. The SHGs would also responsible for primary value addition of the MFPs using equipment such as small cutting and sieving tools, decorticator, dryer, packaging tool etc based on MFPs available in the area.
- Support to be established in one of the beneficiary’s houses/ part of house or Government/ gram panchayat building by the Provision for required building/ infrastructure
- Based on MFPs available in the area Equipment/ Tool Kit comprising of equipment such as small cutting and sieving tools, decorticator, dryer, packaging tool etc.
- provision for raw material for training purpose and supply of trainee kits (comprising of the bag, scribbling pad, pen, brochures, training manual, booklet etc) Fully equipped training facilities for a batch of 30 trainees
- Tie up with financial institutions, banks, NSTFDC etc provisioning of working capital for the SHGs
- A group of ten such SHGs under the same village shall make a Van Dhan Vikas Kendra. Common infrastructure facilities (pucca Kendra) may be given to the Kendra in the next phase in terms of building, construction, warehouse, etc. for utility of the samuh members subject to successful operations of the samuhs in a Kendra,
- tamarind, mahua flower, mahua seed, hill broom, chironjee, honey, sal seed, sal leaves, bamboo split, myrobalan, mango (amchur), aonla (churan/candy), seedlac, Tez Patta, cardamom, black pepper, turmeric, dry ginger, cinnamon, coffee, tea, sea buckthorn tea, etc are an illustrative list of major MFPs which may be covered under the initiative. Any other MFP with potential for value addition may be included, apart from these.
30 Tribal gatherers are constituted under Van Dhan, 10 Self Help Groups. Skill up gradation and capacity building training and setting up of primary processing and value addition facility for the establishment of “Van Dhan Vikas Kendra” is for providing. They are then highly trained and given with working capital to add value to the products, which they collect from the jungle.