New Delhi: Union Minister for Tribal Affairs, Arjun Munda inaugurated the ‘Workshop on Van Dhan and Entrepreneurship Development’ organized by the Tribal Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (TRIFED) under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs on 11 February.
Minister of State for Tribal Affairs, Renuka Singh and senior officials of various Ministries and Departments were also present. Scheduled Tribe (ST) Members of Parliament graced the occasion, where they had been informed about the Van Dhan Scheme, and suggestions were sought from them for implementing and expanding the scheme in their respective constituencies.
Addressing on the occasion, Munda said that Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojana (PMVDY) is an initiative targeting generation of livelihood for tribals by harnessing the wealth of the forest – Van Dhan. The program aims to tap the traditional knowledge and skills of tribals and add branding, packaging and marketing skills to optimize their income through a market-led enterprise model by setting up of Van Dhan Kendras (VDVKs).
The objective of PMVDY is to create tribal enterprise comprising of tribal gatherers and entrepreneurs, who would collectively undertake all related activities starting from the collection of Non-timber forest products (NTFPs) through sustainable harvesting, value-addition, packaging, branding and marketing of value-added products. He informed the Members that PMVDY envisages the creation of tribal enterprises for employment and entrepreneurship development of 45 Lakh tribals, involving 1 Lakh Self-help Groups and 5,000 VDVKs covering 27 States and 307 districts during next 3 years.
The Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Govt of India through TRIFED started the above initiative in August 2019. TRIFED has so far sanctioned proposals for the establishment of 1,101 Van Dhan Kendras in 26 States and 1 UT. The scheme is being implemented through State Nodal Departments and State/District Implementing Agencies.
Reputed Institutions like IITs, IIMs and National Level Intuitions have been associated for supporting this initiative by taking their help in devising the training module and imparting training to members of Van Dhan Kendras on various aspects including processing of forest products, branding, packaging and marketing of value-added products. These reputed institutions will continue their support post training to the members for developing a Van Dhan enterprise.
Besides, Organisations like Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce (FICCI), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Associated Chambers of Commerce of India (ASSOCHAM), Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DICCI) and PHD Chamber are also providing support and participation in the Van Dhan program. TRIFED has reached out to various Ministries – Commerce, MSME, Rural Development, and Railways etc also for support to promote tribal products through a multi-pronged strategy.
The process of establishment of Van Dhan Kendras has gained momentum in the states. Out of sanctioned 1,101 Van Dhan Kendras, 406 Van Dhan Kendras have identified tribal beneficiaries, 174 have completed training of SHGs and VDVKs and 41 Kendras have initiated the process of value-addition and processing operations.
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