Government Schemes & Policies
- Van Dhan Scheme
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Government Schemes & Policies
Van Dhan Scheme
A workshop to flag the 100 days’ plan for implementation of the Van Dhan Scheme was organised by TRIFED of Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
VAN DHAN SCHEME:
- The Van Dhan Scheme was launched in April, 2018 and seeks to improve tribal incomes through value addition of tribal products.
- The programme aims to tap into traditional knowledge of tribals by adding technology & IT to upgrade it at each stage and to convert the tribal wisdom into a viable economic activity.
- It will provide enhanced livelihood to about 45 lakhs tribal gatherers which is about 4.5% of the total tribal population in India.
- Tribal community owned Non-Timber Forest Produce (NTFP) and multi-purpose Van dhan Vikas Kendra are set up under this scheme.
- 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.
- The scheme is 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.
VAN DHAN VIKAS KENDRAS INITIATIVE:
- Van Dhan Vikas Karyakram is primarily a component under the Mechanism for Marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) through Minimum Support Price (MSP) of Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA).
- It would act as common facility centres for procurement cum value addition to locally available NTFPs and skill based handicraft.
- Instead of gathering NTFP products and directly selling it in the market, tribal gatherers can collect, perform primary value addition/processing at the Kendra and then sell the product in the market for better price realization.
- A typical Vikas Kendra constitute 10 tribal Van Dhan Vikas Self Help Groups (SHGs), each compromising up to 30 NTFP gatherers or tribal handcraft artisans.
- At least 60% beneficiaries of the SHG is tribal and the SHG is led by a tribal member.
- 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%.
MINOR FOREST PRODUCE:
- Minor Forest Produce (MFP) is defined as all non-timber forest produce of plant origin and includes bamboo, brushwood, stumps, canes, Tusser, cocoon, honey, waxes, Lac, tendu/kendu leaves, medicinal plants and herbs, roots, tuber and the like.
- It is a subset of forest produce which got a definition in the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 or Forests Rights Act (FRA).
PROVISION OF MFP IN FORESTS RIGHTS ACT (FRA),2006
- The FRA Act recognizes and vests individual forest-dwellers with forest rights to live in and cultivate forest land that was occupied before December 2005 and to dispose minor forest products from forests where they had traditional access.
- The act also defines forest rights as inclusive of ‘Right of ownership, access to collect, use and dispose of minor forest produce. Individuals, communities and gram sabhas having rights under this particular section of the Act will not only have the rights to use but also rights of ownership over MFPs.
- This goes beyond the Provisions of the Panchayats (Extension To The Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 (PESA Act) which had authorised states to entrust panchayats and gramasabhas as the owners of MFP.
MINOR FOREST PRODUCE THROUGH MINIMUM SUPPORT PRICE (MSP) SCHEME:
- The Government of India launched a central sector scheme for marketing of Minor Forest Produce through Minimum Support Price (MSP) and development of value chain to ensure fair monetary returns to MFP gatherers for their efforts in collection, primary processing etc.
- The scheme envisages fixation and declaration of Minimum Support Price for the selected MFP based on the suggestions received from TRIFED and the States concerned.
- Procurement and marketing operation at pre- fixed MSP is undertaken by the designated State agencies.
- The Scheme was implemented in eight States having Schedule areas as listed in the Fifth Schedule of the constitution of India. However, From November 2016, the scheme is applicable in all States.
SIGNIFICANCE OF MINOR FOREST PRODUCE (MFP):
- MFP is a major source of livelihood for tribals living in forest areas. The importance of MFPs for tribal can be gauged from the fact that around 100 million forest dwellers depend on MFPs for food, shelter, medicines and cash income.
- It provides them critical subsistence during the lean 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 major portion of their time.
- This activity has 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.