Tackling an unprecedented crisis of nature and combating the challenges thrown by the Covid-19 Pandemic require different and innovative approaches. One segment that has been severely impacted during the ongoing crisis has been the tribal population. In such a scenario, the Van Dhan Start-ups, established under the scheme initiated by TRIFED, Ministry of Tribal Affairs has emerged as a source of employment generation for tribal gatherers and forest dwellers and also the home-bound labour and artisans.
Features of PMVDY
- The Van Dhan Scheme is an initiative of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and TRIFED. It was launched on 14th April, 2018 and seeks to improve tribal incomes through value addition of tribal products.
- At State level, the State Nodal Agency for MFPs and the District collectors are envisaged to play a pivotal role in scheme implementation at grassroot level.
- Locally the Kendras are to be managed by a managing committee (an SHG) consisting of representatives of Van Dhan SHGs in the cluster.
- Tribals derive 20-40% of their annual income from MFP on which they spend a 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.
- At unit level, aggregation of produce would be done by SHGs having about 30 members each forming Van Dhan Vikas ‘Samuh’. The SHGs would also undertake 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.
- A typical Van Dhan Vikas Samuh would have the following facilities:
. Provision for required building/ infrastructure support
. Equipment/ Tool kit comprising of equipment such as small cutting and sieving tools, decorticator, dryer, packaging tools based on MFPs available in the area
. Fully equipped training facilities for a batch of 30 trainees with provision for raw material for training purpose and supply of trainee kits
. Provisioning of working capital for the SHGs through tie up with financial institutions, banks, NSTFDC.
- The establishment of Van Dhan Vikas Kendra is for:
. providing skill upgradation and capacity building
. setting up of primary processing and value addition facilities.
. they are then trained and provided with working capital to add value to the products, which they collect from the jungle.
. these groups can then market their products not only within the States but also outside the States.
. training and technical support is provided by TRIFED.
- The SHGs shall be appropriately trained on sustainable harvesting/ collection, primary processing & value addition and be formed into clusters so as to aggregate their stock in tradable quantity and linking them with facility of primary processing in a Van Dhan Vikas Kendra.
- For creation of secondary level value addition facility at district level and tertiary level value addition facility at State level, big corporates shall be involved under PPP model.