In accordance with Prime Minister Modi’s call for “Atmanirbhar Bharat” and the slogan “Be Vocal for Local Buy Tribal,” TRIFED has launched an umbrella programme Pradhan Mantri Janjatiya Vikas to achieve the aim of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas.
Under the Van Dhan initiative of TRIFED, 200 Van Dhan producer companies are planned to be established in 27 states from the year 2020-26, with a focus on aspirational districts. A Van Dhan Producer firm that has been operating in the Jawadhu Hills in the Tiruvannamalai district of Tamil Nadu since 2020 is a good example of how this programme helps tribals and encourages tribal entrepreneurship.
Jawadhu Hills tribal farmer producer company showing the way
Jawadhu Hills are an extension of the Eastern Ghats, located in Tamil Nadu’s Tiruvannamalai district. The Malayali tribal people make up 92.60% of the entire population in this block, and their major source of income is non-timber forest produce and a variety of plants such as tamarind, jackfruit, coconut, lemon, plantain, and gooseberry cultivated on this Patta land.
The Jawadhu Hills tribal farmer producer company was established in 2020 to help these tribals empower themselves and get greater prospects and market access. It is part of the state balanced growth fund for the value addition of non-timber forest products and agricultural products in the Jawadhu Hills.
The Company was established under the Companies Act 2013 (18 of 2013) and is a share-based corporation. It is made up of members of community-based farmers’ interest groups, producer groups, and self-help organisations. The FPO’s entire board of directors and senior management persons are from tribal communities.
Four industrial plants for the processing and packaging of tamarind, minor millet, honey, and pepper have already been established in less than a year. The tribal-run manufacturing units began production in November 2020. A daily manufacturing capacity of one tonne. The producer business has sold processed products worth up to Rs 12 lakhs in less than four months.
The FPO has already registered as a seller in the Tribes India marketplace, where it has been selling nine of its processed vegetables, getting access to a larger market for its products.
In the last year, 124 tonnes of minor millets were produced, with 9,800 families cultivating minor millets. It is cultivated by around 17,770 millet farmers who will reap the profits from the producer company. In Jawadhu Hill, 22 tonnes of honey are produced each year, with a total of 2760 people working as part of 120 SHGs.
Aim to improve the lives & livelihood of honey producers
The Jawadhu Hills honey production firm aims to enhance the lives and livelihoods of 2,760 beekeepers. The tamarind production and selling process involves 9500 families and 300 SHGs. In these hills, more than 90 tonnes of tamarind are produced.
The Jawadhu Hills company business was established with the goal of enhancing the quality of life and social standing of the tribals concerned. This is an example of how the Van Dhan tribal start-up has helped tribal people all throughout the nation improve their livelihoods and earnings.
A component of the same strategy is the Van Dhan tribal start-ups, which is a programme for value addition, branding, and marketing of minor forest produces through the establishment of Van Dhan Kendras in order to help forest-based tribes create sustainable lives. It has emerged as a source of employment for tribal gatherers, forest dwellers, and tribal artisans.
Together with the Tribal Livelihoods initiative, TRIFED is extending the Skills Development and Micro Entrepreneurship programme. TRIFED has initiated convergences with various ministries and departments, including the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI), and the Ministry of AYUSH, all with the goal of improving efficiency and income opportunities for these tribals.
What are Producer Companies in India?
In India, the concept of a Producer Company was created to allow cooperatives to operate as legal organisations under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. A producer company is a cluster of farmers that join their hands to improve their income so that they could have a better standard of living. In India, the company can be set up with just 10 members and 2 institutions.
Producer Company Overview
A producer is defined in the Companies Act as “any person engaged in any activity linked with or related to any primary produce” (Produce: “things produced or cultivated, notably through farming”).
A Producer Company is thus a legal entity with one or more of the following objects: production, harvesting, procurement, grading, pooling, handling, marketing, selling, the export of primary produce of the members or import of goods or services for their benefit.
Further, the Producer Company must deal primarily with the produce of its active members and must allow it to carry on any of the following activities by itself or through other entities – but on behalf of the members. These are:
-Processing including preserving, drying, distilling, brewing, canning and packaging of the produce of its Members.
-Manufacturing, sale or supply of machinery, equipment or consumables primarily to its Members;
-Rendering technical services, consultancy services, training, research and development and all other activities for the promotion of its member’s interests.
-Insurance of producers or their produce.
-Welfare measures or facilities for the benefit of Members as may be decided by the Board;
-Funding of procurement, processing, marketing or other activities which include extending credit facilities or any other financial services to the Members.
What is the role of the Producer Company in boosting the economy?
The Producer Company’s major goal is to establish a farmer society in the form of a corporation and to convert an existing co-operative society into an organized company. Members of the Producer Company also get bonus shares in the same proportion as their equity shares in the producer company.
There are specific tax exemptions and perks that they can avail of based on the agricultural activity that the firm engages in. Producer companies in India help in utilising economies of scale to get inputs at the lowest cost, adopting new technologies, gaining easy access to funding and loans, establishing direct market links, and developing facilities related to post-harvest processing.