TRIFED (Tribal Co-operative Marketing Federation of India) will now be partnering with NITI Aayog to implement the Van Dhan Yojana in the districts that have been identified as aspirational districts by NITI Aayog.
It has been decided that a dedicated team from TRIFED along with the NITI Aayog will work out the follow-up plan for the implementation of the Van Dhan Yojana in each of the 39 Tribal Aspirational Districts selected.
These include districts in the states of Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Telangana, Manipur, Meghalaya, and Tripura.
As part of this partnership, a particular emphasis will be put on these aspirational districts, which have a tribal population of more than 50%. An additional 9,900 VDVKs (Van Dhan Vikas Kendras) subsumed into 659 VDVK Clusters that are spread out in these tribal aspirational districts envisaged under the expansion strategy of the tribal development programme.
The initiative is expected to give a boost to the employment generation to nearly 2 lakh tribal families. Through this association, NITI Aayog will assist TRIFED in professionally monitoring the effective implementation and feedback of the programme.
What is Van Dhan Vikas Yojana?
The Van Dhan tribal start-ups programme or Van Dhan Yojana was launched in 2018, is an integral part of ‘Mechanism for Marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) through Minimum Support Price (MSP) & Development of Value Chain for MFP. It is a flagship scheme of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, which aims to provide remunerative and fair prices to tribal gatherers of forest produce, almost three times higher than would be available to them from middlemen, trebling their incomes.
The program was constituted to address the arduous problems faced by Tribals such as possession of land/house with no rights; restrictions in the collection of minor forest produce; exploitation by middlemen; displacement from national parks and wild sanctuaries and lack of development in forest villages etc.
Van Dhan tribal start-ups and developments Under VDVKs/ VDVKCs
The Van Dhan tribal start-ups and the Mechanism for Marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) through Minimum Support Price (MSP) & Development of Value Chain for MFP’ Scheme provides MSP to gatherers of forest produce. There are many initiatives of TRIFED, Ministry of Tribal Affairs that have proved helpful by generating employment and income for the tribal population.
Van Dhan tribal start-ups is a programme that facilitates Van Dhan Kendras to promote the production of sustainable livelihoods for forest-based tribes for value addition, branding & marketing of Minor Forest Produces etc.
Almost 80% of the established VDVKs are in the North-East, wherein Manipur, in particular, emerged as the Champion state where the Van Dhan programme brought a major source of employment for the local tribals. Subsequently, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh are other states where the scheme has been adopted with overwhelming results.
Now, 37,259 Van Dhan Vikas Kendras (VDVKs), subsumed into 2,224 Van Dhan Vikas Kendra Clusters (VDVKCs) of 300 forest dwellers each, have been sanctioned by TRIFED as of date. A typical Van Dhan Vikas Kendra includes 20 tribal members. 15 such Van Dhan Vikas Kendras form 1 Van Dhan Vikas Kendra cluster.
Atmanirbhar Bharat for Tribal communities
To promote “Be Vocal for Local Buy Tribal” and “Atmanirbhar Bharat campaign”, TRIFED is working continuously on the transformation from the Van Dhan mode to Tribal enterprise mode. By clustering these Van Dhan Vikas Kendras into Van Dhan clusters and enterprises, the aim is to achieve economies of scale and promote high-value addition produce.
Nearly 6.67 lakh tribal forest gatherers in 23 states and two union territories will benefit from the Van Dhan Vikas Kendra Clusters, which will provide economies of scale, market linkages and livelihood, as well as entrepreneurship opportunities to many. Up to now, the Van Dhan start-ups initiative has impacted 50 lakh tribals strengthening Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan.