The Forest Rights Act of 2005 ided by the Government push in May 2020 wherein the prices of MFPs were increased by up to 90% and the inclusion of 23 new items in the MFP list, this flagship scheme which draws its strength from , aims to provide remunerative and fair prices Adapting “Go Vocal for Local”, a mantra in these troubled times, into “Go Vocal for Local Go Tribal – Mera Van Mera Dhan Mera Udyam”, TRIFED, Ministry of Tribal Affairs has put in place several path-breaking initiatives, in addition to its existing flagship programmes and implementations, that have emerged as a panacea for the distressed tribals in such times.
- TRIFED has embarked on an all-encompassing digitisation drive to promote tribal commerce and also map and link its village-based tribal producers and artisans to national and international markets by setting up state of art e- platforms benchmarked to international standards. The strategy is aimed to effectively promote tribal commerce.
- TRIFED is in the process of digitising all the information related to the forest dwellers associated with the Van Dhan Yojana, village haats and their warehouses. This digitization effort wherein all tribal clusters are identified and mapped using GIS technology will help bring benefits to these people under the Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.
- In order to ensure that the unsold stocks of tribal artisans got sold and all the sales proceeds go to the affected tribal families, TRIFED purchased more than 1 lakh items and launched an aggressive plan to market these unsold goods online (offering substantial discounts) through its Tribes India website and also other retail platforms such as Amazon, Flipkart and GeM. The team of TRIFED warriors also joined hands with the Art of Living Foundation to distribute free food and ration to more than 5000 tribal artisan families.
- The ‘Mechanism for Marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) through Minimum Support Price (MSP) & Development of Value Chain for MFP’ Scheme has also emerged as a beacon of change. Conceptualised and implemented by TRIFED in association with State Government Agencies across 21 states of the country, the scheme has injected more than Rs 3000 crores directly in the tribal economy since April 2020 to tribal gatherers of forest produces. The price is almost three times higher than would be available to them from middle men, and has helped in trebling their incomes in these times. The ongoing procurement of MFPs under the MSP for MFP Scheme in 16 States has hit a record-breaking high with the procurement touching Rs 1000 crores, and another Rs 2000 crores by trade over and above the MSP.
- The Van Dhan Vikas Kendras/ Tribal Start-ups, also a component of the same scheme, further complements MSP as it has emerged as a source of employment generation for tribal gatherers and forest dwellers and the home-bound tribal artisans. 1205 Tribal Enterprises spread across 18500 SHGs have been established to provide employment opportunities to 3.6 lakh tribal gatherers and 18000 self-help groups in 22 States.
- To bring more exposure to the empaneled tribal artisans and to bring their skill sets and products to international standards, TRIFED is also collaborating with renowned designers such as Ruma Devi and Rina Dhaka to train the tribal artisans. In her own show, The Designer and The Muse, currently airing on News X, Rina Dhaka is promoting tribal handicrafts and products through a series of interviews.