NITI AAYOG -TRIFED join hands for successful implementation of  Van DhanYojana in Tribal Clusters of Aspirational Districts of India

Keeping in line with the Prime Minister’s call for “Atmanirbhar Bharat” aligned to the slogan of “Be Vocal for Local Buy Tribal”, towards realizing the goal of “SabkaSaath, SabkaVikas”, TRIFED is collaborating with NITI Aayog to implement the Van DhanYojana in the districts that have been identified as aspirational districts by NITI Aayog. As a follow-up for the implementation of the Van DhanYojana in the Tribal Aspirational Districts, TRIFED team briefed about the Van DhanYojana to the DMs/DCs of aspirational districts in a meeting on July 23, 2021 chaired by Shri Amitabh Kant, CEO, NitiAayog.

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 that provides MSP to gatherers of forest produces and introduce value addition and marketing through tribal groups and clusters are among the many initiatives of TRIFED, Ministry of Tribal Affairs that have proved helpful by generating employment and income for the tribal population.

These initiatives, spearheaded by TRIFED, exemplify MFP-led Tribal Development in Mission Mode. Tribals have been made legal owners of MFP in their areas. Minimum Support Price (MSP) has been announced for several MFPs. Under the program the processing and value-addition to MFP will be done in a well-equipped common facility centres which are to be called Van DhanVikas Kendra.

As per TRIFED , 37,904 Van DhanVikasKendras (VDVKs), subsumed into 2275Van DhanVikas Kendra Clusters (VDVKCs) of 300 forest dwellers each,  have been sanctioned by TRIFED as of date. A typical Van DhanVikas Kendra includes 20 tribal members. 15 such Van DhanVikasKendras form 1 Van DhanVikas Kendra cluster. The Van DhanVikas Kendra Clusters will provide the Van DhanVikasKendras economies of scale, livelihood and market-linkages, as well as entrepreneurship opportunities to nearly 6.77 lakh Tribal forest gatherers in 27 states and 2 UTs. 50 lakh tribals have been impacted by the Van Dhan start-ups programme up until now.

This plan has proved to be a boon during the pandemic times with dwindling livelihoods for the marginalised. With good planning and implementation, TRIFED and its State Agency partners in 27 states, have brought about a paradigm shift in the program outcomes.

TRIFED’s Van DhanYojana is in different stages of implementation in the 124 districts which have been declared as Aspirational Districts. In these districts the classification has been done based on the percentage of tribal population as well as the economic feasibility of formation of VDVKCs in the district.TRIFED is already working in 65 Aspirational Districts where 521 Van Dhan Clusters (VDVKCs) have been sanctioned involving 1.55 lakhs tribal beneficiaries. This can be extended to all tribal clusters of Aspirational districts.

Out of the 41 aspirational districts under Category I with Tribal Population more than 50%, VDVKCs are sanctioned in 39 aspirational districts which includes districts in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Telangana and Tripura.

The collaboration and partnership with NITI Aayog along with the support of the collectors and other district officials is aimed at a complete transformation of the tribal ecosystem across the country.