Union Minister Jual Oram inaugurates National Workshop on Minimum Support Price for Minor Forest Produce

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The Union Minister for Tribal Affairs, Shri Jual Oram lighting the lamp to inaugurate the National Workshop on “Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Minor Forest Produces (MFP) scheme - Taking it to the next level”, in New Delhi on September 25, 2017. The Ministers of State for Tribal Affairs, Shri Sudarshan Bhagat and Shri Jaswantsinh Sumanbhai Bhabhor and the Managing Director, TRIFED, Shri Pravir Krishna are also seen.

New Delhi: Minister of Tribal Affairs Shri Jual Oram inaugurated the National Workshop organized by TRIFED on “Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Minor Forest Produces (MFP) scheme – Taking it to the next level for a Fair and Equitable Deal to the Tribals” Minister of State for Tribal Affairs Shri Jaswantsinh Sumanbhai Bhabhor and Shri Sudarshan Bhagat were specially present to grace the occasion. Ms Leena Nair, Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Shri Pravir Krishna, Managing Director, TRIFED and senior officials were also be present on the occasion. Senior level functionaries of Government of India from the Ministries of Tribal Affairs, Rural Development, Textiles, Forests and Environment and over 100 senior officers from all the States also participated in the day-long Workshop.

 

Shri Jual Oram, Minister of Tribal Affairs said that this workshop is a step to expand the horizon of the scheme of providing Minimum Support Price for Minor Forest Produce. This scheme is already implemented in 9 States and today it is expanded nationwide. This workshop will help to expand the scheme Nationwide. He also said that MFP collection centres should also be depots of daily requirements to sell items of daily need to the tribals. He said that after minerals, MFP could be the largest generation of revenue. He emphasised on the use of social media and new technology to help the tribes to sell their produces at best prices.

Shri Sudarshan Bhagat, Minister of State for Tribal Affairs said that Minimum Support Price provided to Kisans have helped them overcome the vagaries of the market price fluctuations for their produce. Similarly providing Minimum Support Price for Minor Forest Produce will help Tribals for their progress and development. At present Minimum Support Price will be given for 24 Minor Forest Produce but gradually efforts will be made to increase the number of Minor Forest Produce.

Shri Jaswantsinh Sumanbhai Bhabhor, Minister of State for Tribal Affairs said that he is very happy about these type of workshops and this step will help tribals to develop in all their fields. Similar efforts were made by this Government for developing vulnerable people like women, villagers and poor.

Ms. Leena Nair, IAS, Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India said that This workshop is a clarion call for understanding the gaps in the scheme of providing Minimum Support Price to Minor Forest Produce and making course correction. She also said that this Scheme should be implemented through women’s self help group because women play important role in this business. She emphasized that Haat Bazars must be strengthened.

Shri Pravir Krishna, Managing Director, TRIFED said that This workshop aims at expanding the horizon and taking it to all the States. MoU with Amazon is a step towards expanding the reach of the ‘Tribe India’ brand to next level to National & International markets through e-commerce.

TRIFED Signs MoU with Amazon: Marketing of Tribal Handicrafts Scaled-up for Empowerment of Tribals
In order to have institutional support to marketing initiatives, TRIFED has formally signed an MOU with M/s Amazon Seller Services Pvt. Ltd for sale of tribal products through leading e-commerce giant www.amazon.in at a mutually agreed terms & conditions.
As a part of the MOU, exquisite authentic tribal art and craft items crafted and sculpted by tribal artisans from all over the country will be showcased on the online portal www.amazon.in for sale. The aim is to promote tribal handicrafts like handloom products, cane and bamboo products, tribal jewellery, Dhokra craft, tribal weaves and embroidery, tribal paintings etc by cashing in on the online retail space reach to boost sales.

All customers on www.amazon.in and the Amazon mobile shopping app have easy and convenient access to over 65 million products across hundreds of categories. They benefit from a safe and secure ordering experience, convenient electronic payments, Cash on Delivery, Amazon’s 24×7 customer service support, and a globally recognized and comprehensive 100% purchase protection provided by Amazon’s A-to-Z Guarantee. They can also enjoy Amazon.in’s guaranteed one-day, two-day delivery, Sunday and Morning delivery on products fulfilled by Amazon

“TRIBES INDIA” showrooms managed by TRIFED, offer a wide range of Tribal Products from different parts of the country, which include Metal Craft, Tribal Textiles, Jewellery, Tribal Paintings, Cane & Bamboo, Pottery, Gifts and Novelties, Organic and Natural products sourced from tribals at their places of habitats from higher Himalayas (Bhutia tribes in the Uttrakhand, Bodh & Kinnaura tribes in Himachal Pradesh) in the North and (Toda & Irula Tribes in Nilgiri Hills) in the South and from North Eastern States (Tangkhul Naga, Bodo, Konyak & Dimasa Tribes) to the desert of Rajasthan and Rann of Kutch (Bhil, Garasia, Rathwa, Gamit Tribes ) in the West. There is fabulous collection of tribal paintings mainly Saura from Orissa, Gond from Madhya Pradesh, Warli from Maharashtra and Pithora from Gujarat.

From a single store in 1999 at Delhi, now TRIFED has established a chain of 42 retail outlets and tie-ups with 13 State level Emporiums. The idea is to provide opportunities to the tribal artisans of the country to market their products on a sustained basis. TRIFED plans to expand this network to other cities as well so as to provide a larger market for tribal products.

Background:
A National Workshop on Minimum Support Price for Minor Forest Produce Scheme was organised by Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Limited (TRIFED). Tribals constitute 8.6% of our population. Minor Forest Produce is very important to tribals economy. There is lack of proper storage facility and logistics. It is, therefore, important for the Government to intervene for supporting them. The MSP for MFP Scheme provides a safety net for these tribals. Although the Scheme was launched in 2014 it had mixed result for various reasons. Some states did well but in several other States the Scheme is yet to take off. The State has to play the role of as active player and not remain a mere spectator. The Scheme needs to be taken to the next level through value addition and synergy with the programmes of other departments.

Minor Forest Produce (MFP) is a major source of livelihood for tribals who belong to the poorest of the poor section of society. The importance of MFPs for this section of the society can be gauged from the fact that majority of 100 million tribals depend on MFPs for food, fodder, shelter, medicines and cash income. It provides them critical subsistence during the lean seasons, particularly for primitive tribal groups such as hunter gatherers, and the landless. Tribals derive 20-40% of their annual income from MFP on which they spend 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. MFP sector has the potential to create about 10 million workdays jobs annually in the country.

Government of India has taken a number of initiatives for socio economic development of tribals like introduction of Forest Rights Act, PESA Act and has been implementing schemes for development of MFP by providing financial support to State TDCCs and TRIFED for market development of MFPs. Recognizing the critical importance which MFP hold for tribals and its potential to create large scale employment opportunity thereby, helping in reducing poverty and increasing empowerment of tribals particularly women and poor people of the poorest and backward districts of the country, Govt. of India has now decided to introduce an ambitious scheme of providing fair price for the MFP collected by tribals through Minimum Support price (MSP).

The scheme has been started with the objective of providing fair price to MFP gatherers, enhance their income level and ensure sustainable harvesting of MFPs. The MSP scheme seeks to establish a framework to ensure fair prices for the produce collected by them, assurance of buying at a particular price, primary processing, storage, transportation etc while ensuring sustainability of the resource base. It is a holistic scheme for development of MFP trade and covers 24 non-nationalized / non-monopolized MFPs namely,

Karanj Seed, Mahua Seed, Sal Leaf, Sal Seed, Lac (Rangini & Kusumi), Chironjee, Wild Honey, Myrobalan, Tamarind, Gums (Gum Karaya), Kusum Seed, Neem Seed, Puwad Seed, Baheda, Hill Broom Grass, Shikakai, Guggul (exudate), Bael (dried & without crust), Nagarmotha, Palash Kesuda (Flower), Shatavari (dried), Madhunashini, Kalmegh, Tamarind (de-seeded).

The scheme is applicable for implementation in all the States across India. Any de-nationalized MFP / items removed from the purview of monopoly procurement in future will also qualify for coverage under the Scheme. Similarly, any nationalized / monopolized procurement MFP will disqualify for coverage under the Scheme. However, if any State willingly wants any nationalized items to be included in MSP, then it shall have to change its nationalized status accordingly.

Government of India has extended financial support for part of working capital requirement of State Implementing Agencies and also share losses, if any, with the State Governments in the ratio of 75:25. It is expected that State level agencies which were not participating in procurement process due to fear of incurring losses will now aggressively pursue procurement and marketing of identified items under MSP as they are assured of financial support as well as substantial sharing of losses. It is expected to increase quantum of MFP procurement substantially thereby benefitting tribal people. The Scheme also envisages training of tribal MFP gatherers on sustainable harvesting and value addition activities including facilitation for marketing of the produces so that natural resources can be optimally utilized in a sustainable manner.

The scheme seeks to institutionalize various medium & long term aspects of sustainable collection, value addition, market infrastructure development, knowledge base expansion of MFPs, market intelligence development etc. Strengthening the bargaining power of Gram Sabhas / Panchayats and their involvement shall also be addressed and taken care of during implementation of the scheme.

Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India is the Nodal Ministry for implementation of the scheme which will announce Minimum Support Price (MSP) for the selected MFPs with the technical support from TRIFED. TRIFED will act as the Central Nodal Agency for implementation and monitoring of the scheme through State level implementing agencies. State designated agencies will undertake procurement of notified MFPs directly from MFP gatherers (individual or collectives) at haats notified procurement centers at grass root level at prefixed Minimum Support Price and ensure full & timely on the spot payment to MFP gatherers.

Value Addition assumes critical importance in ensuring remunerative prices to the tribals in the renewed approach. Two stage value addition would be the cornerstone for enhancing livelihood income of the tribals under the scheme. The grassroot level procurement is proposed to be undertaken through SHGs associated with Implementing Agencies. Convergence and Networking with other Govt departments / scheme shall be undertaken to utilise the services of existing SHGs, Aajivika etc. These SHGs shall be appropriately empowered to undertake the procurement operations on a scientific and systematic lines. The SHG members shall undertake preliminary value addition like cleaning, grading, drying & home level primary processing under the direction and supervision of State Implementing Agency. The stock after preliminary processing shall be supplied by these SHGs to the storage of State Implementing Agencies. For higher value addition of MFPs, Big Corporates shall be involved under PPP model. This PPP model will be based on utilising Private entrepreneur skills in undertaking processing as well as marketing of the produce and Central / State Government support in terms of creating infrastructure and providing enabling environment for undertaking value addition of systematic scientific lines. These will be sophisticated large value addition hubs managed by Private entrepreneur.

The entire operation shall be monitored through State level committee headed by Chief Secretary and district level committees headed by District Collector for effective implementation of the provisions of the scheme. The scheme will touch the lives of tribal people involved in collection of MFPs across all the States and help optimum utilization of natural resources in a sustainable manner. This scheme will be an important milestone in economic development of tribals.

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