All possible assistance to industries doing value addition in small forest produce : Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel

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Raipur: Chief Minister Mr. Bhupesh Baghel has said that the state government will provide all possible help to the industries doing value addition in small forest produce and forest medicines. Value addition will not only benefit the forest dwellers, but it will also benefit industrialists and businessmen. Chief Minister held discussions with industrialists and businessmen of Bastar, Dhamtari, Mahasamund, Kanker, Balod in his residence office, here today.

The Chief Minister said that most of the industrialists and traders of Chhattisgarh currently buy small forest produce and supply them to big companies. If they add value to minor forest produce, then it will provide employment to the local people, traders will also get good profit and the revenue of the state government will increase. He said that if the industrialists and traders coming forward for the value addition, face any problem, then the state government will assist them with full sensitivity for getting rid of the problems.

Chief Minister added that for this industrialists and businessmen should discuss quality and price with small forest produce committees. Provide work to people from these committees in the value addition plant and after preparing the finished product, give it to big companies or get it marketed through business organisations. He said that the local collectors should be provided work in their factories, this will give them a new source of income and employment and will also benefit the traders.

Mr. Baghel said that 44 percent of the land area in Chhattisgarh is forest, here small forest produce and medicinal plants are found naturally in abundant quantities.The state government is procuring 31 types of minor forest produce through collectors at the support price. During the lockdown, about 99 percent of the country’s minor forest produce was collected and purchased in Chhattisgarh, due to this, the forest dwellers got a huge economic support even in the time of crisis. Women from women self-help groups got a large number of jobs. Tendupatta is being collected at the rate of Rs. 4000 per standard bag. The support price of Mahua was increased to Rs 30, due to which Mahua was also sold at Rs 40 per kg in the market. Large-scale MGNREGA works were started during the lockdown period, on an average 26 lakh people got work. The tribals got means of income through the collection work of MGNREGA and forest produce and they got engaged in these activities.The state government decided to get bamboo harvested through local residents and also increased the harvesting rate, this led to the first bamboo harvesting done in Bhopalpatnam after 20 years. It was also decided to prepare tree-guards from bamboo, 25 thousand bamboo tree-guards were prepared by the local people, this also helped them in earning income.

Chief Minister said that in order to ensure that the tribals and forest dwellers continue to get means of earning income, the Forest Department has been directed to plant forests of small forest produce like Char Chironji and Tamarind instead of Timber in the forests. Beneficiaries of forest rights have also been asked for plantation of such plants.Turmeric, ginger and tikhur can be cultivated through inter-cropping between these plants. With this, the forest dwellers will continue to earn income throughout the year.

Chief Minister said that technology has to be developed for plucking Amla and Chironji without damaging the Amla and Chironji trees, so that their trees also remain alive. He said that Gouthan is being developed on 3 to 5 acres of land in every village, where fruit trees as well as small forest produce and forest medicinal plants are also being planted.The state government is trying to develop Gothan as a livelihood center. Businessmen can join these centers and start processing with the help of the groups working there.He said that Gauthan will be the medium of major change in Chhattisgarh in the coming times. By not having cattle in the open, farmers will also be able to harvest dual crops. He said that animal husbandry and dairy work is also being done in Gothan. Businessmen and industrialists can help the villagers with their experience and knowledge to manage and operate Gothans.
The Chief Minister said that keeping in mind that people will get employment if the wheel of industries continues to roll, during the lockdown in Chhattisgarh, an initiative was taken to give employment to the people, permission was given to start industries from April. During this time, around 90 percent of the steel in the country was supplied from Chhattisgarh. During the discussion, industrialists informed about various problems being faced by them. Chief Minister assured to consider their problems with seriousness. On this occasion, several industrialists including Mr. Mohan Bhai Patel, Mr. Mukesh Dholakia, Mr. Jitendra Chandrakar, Mr. Suresh Jain, Mr. Roshan Agarwal, Mr. Pramod Chandrakar and Mr. Deepak Upadhyay participated in the discussion.

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