New Delhi: As a part of its mission to improve the livelihoods of the tribals (both forest dwellers and artisans) and work towards tribal empowerment, TRIFED has been convergences and partnerships with like-minded organisations to create synergies together. One crucial such convergence had been with Deen Dayal Antyodaya – National Rural Livelihood Mission for improving the livelihood of tribals.
A meeting between Shri Pravir Krishna, Managing Director, TRIFED and Shri Nagendra Nath Sinha, Secretary of Ministry of Rural Development(MoRD) took place on May 28, 2021 to outline the way forward for this partnershipunder MoU to improve the livelihoods of tribals under MGNREGA through SRLM.
Speaking about the pivotal role this partnership will play in enhancing livelihoods, Shri Pravir Krishna added, “TRIFED has been actively working on convergences with various ministries and organisations in the areas of Skill development and Tribal Livelihoods. This collaboration will help us consolidate our efforts and work together for improving livelihoods of the marginalized sections of the society.”
Shri Nagendra Nath Sinha said, “I am very happy that our two organisations are moving ahead with this association and all the work in this direction will benefit these marginalized sections of our society.”
It is worth mentioning that TRIFED and NRLM, Ministry of Rural Development had earlier entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on December 31, 2020 to cement this collaborative and co-operative effort. The MoU had been signed by Shri Pravir Krishna, Managing Director, TRIFED and Shri Nagendra Nath Sinha, Secretary of Ministry of Rural Development(MoRD).
The two organizations will work together in synergizing various programmes and schemes that are being implemented already by both to achieve the common goal of enhancing the livelihoods of the marginalized sections. The MoU envisages cooperation in the following areas of operations:
Supporting Van Dhan beneficiaries through NRLM – Under this component it was decided that SRLMs will support the initiative of Van Dhan kendras. Through the convergence with the Ministry of Rural Development, it has been agreed to establish market operatives synergy between the State Implementing Agencies that are implementing MSP for MFP and the State Rural Livelihood Mission (SRLM) to protect tribal gatherers against unfair practices of middlemen. The SRLMs will also participate in the implementation of the Van Dhan Yojana, with adequate technical and other support from TRIFED. NRLM through its SRLMs will support establishment of Van Dhan Kendras for creating a sustainable models and help facilitate establishing a viable enterprise. The two organisations also have agreed to work together for the development of common facilities centres. Currently the states where the State Rural Development agencies are already involved in implementing Van Dhan Yojana and MSP for MFP Scheme, in different capacities, include Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Ladakh, Rajasthan, Tripura and Uttarakhand.
Creation of infrastructure: The second component is related to creation of infrastructure with the support of MGNAREGA components at field level that includes warehouses, haat Bazaars, Working sheds etc. Overall proposals worth Rs. 2170.75 Lakhs has been received from 5 states under infrastructure development for Godowns, Haat bazars and multipurpose sheds.
Handloom/ Handicrafts: TRIFED will empanel the SHGs or FPOs with majority tribal members (as identified by NRLM) and will enable the sale of their products through both its Tribes India online and offline network. Once they are empanelled they will be entitled to participate in Exhibitions/ fairs organised by TRIFED . Similarly it has been envisaged that tribal artisans associated with TRIFED can similarly participate in MoRD events.
During the meeting, a special focus was on the amount of infrastructure and other related work that has already been done in the tribal areas. In fact over the past two years, The ‘Mechanism for Marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) through Minimum Support Price (MSP) & Development of Value Chain for MFP’ has impacted the tribal ecosystem in a big way. It has injected Rs 3000 crores into the tribal economy aided by government push. The Van Dhan tribal start-ups has emerged as a source of employment generation for tribal gatherers and forest dwellers and the home-bound tribal artisans.
In less than two years, 37,259 Van Dhan Vikas Kendras (VDVKs), subsumed into 2224 Van Dhan Vikas Kendra Clusters (VDVKCs) of 300 forest dwellers each, have been sanctioned by TRIFED as of date. A typical Van Dhan Vikas Kendra includes 20 tribal members. 15 such Van Dhan Vikas Kendras form 1 Van Dhan Vikas Kendra cluster. The Van Dhan Vikas Kendra Clusters provide the Van Dhan Vikas Kendras economies of scale, livelihood and market-linkages, as well as entrepreneurship opportunities to nearly 6.67 lakh Tribal forest gatherers in 23 states and 2 UTs.
. Systems and processes are being put in place across the country so that the procurement of MFPs become a round-the-year operation and benefit more and more tribal gatherer families.
Modernisation of Haat Bazaars with necessary linkages to Godown Facilities is also being taken up. Through the TRIFOOD projects ongoing currently in Jagdalpur and Raigarh, in association with MoFPI & NSTFDC, TRIFED is working to enhance tribal income by better utilisation and value addition to minor forest produce (MFP) collected by tribal gatherers from forested areas. It is envisaged that 3,000 Van Dhan Vikas Kendra Clusters will be set up. 3000 Haat Bazaars and 600 Godowns under MSP for MFP scheme are being targeted in addition to the setting up of 200 Mini TRIFOOD Units and 100 Common Facility Centers and 100 TRIFOOD parks within DMF and 275 (1) districts.
With the successful implementation of this collaboration and many more upcoming convergences, TRIFED hopes to help in generating income and livelihoods for these people and ultimately help in in a complete transformation of tribal lives and livelihoods across the country.