Setting the tone for 2021 – TRIFED examines the progress of tribal development programmes in Chhattisgarh

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New Delhi: Pravir Krishna, Managing Director, TRIFED, along with a team of TRIFED officials visited the state of Chhattisgarh last week to discuss the state of progress of tribal development programmes in place in the state. During the four-day visit, Shri Krishna took stock of the ground realities and had several fruitful meetings and discussion on different aspects of tribal development.

In this regard, a meeting of the Steering Committee of Chhattisgarh was called on 7th January 2021 to monitor the progress of the ongoing new tribal development programs in the
state and chalk out action points for the future.

The meeting was initiated by Shri Manoj Kumar Pingua, Principal Secretary, Forest and was followed by a presentation made by Shri Sanjay Kumar Shukla, MD Chhattisgarh State Minor Forest Produce. During the meeting, the progress made by the State of Chhattisgarh with respect to the programmes that have been put in place by the government for improving tribal such as the Minimum Support Price for Minor Forest Produce (MSP for MFP), Van Dhan Yojana, ESDP training for tribals was discussed.

MD TRIFED appreciated the performance of Chhattisgarh state under MSP scheme in last few years and spoke about the various new TRIFED programs being planned in the Van Dhan Phase 2 model. He reiterated that in order to provide benefits to the tribal community of the State a special focus needs to be given to enhancing the quality, focussed marketing and strategic branding of the products. He highlighted that there is still a large scope of expansion of livelihood generating activities in tribal areas of the State. Based on extensive planning and discussions, it has been decided to expand the number of Van Dhan Vikas Kendras to 231, Haat Bazaars to 370, Godowns to 74 and Tertiary Processing units to 13 over the next financial year.

During the productive session, other salient action points were also outlined. It has been recommended that Chhattisgarh state may consider allocating 10% of District Mineral Funds (DMF) and funds under Art 275(1) for developing entrepreneurship and livelihood generation of tribals through TRIFOOD units. 25 tribal clusters are to be identified so that they can be developed into entities under the SFURTI scheme. It is proposed to set up 10 TRIFOOD units in the state and locations will be identified for the same. As of now, work is on in full-swing for the TRIFOOD unit set up at Jagdalpur. One of the action points being put in place is organising a National Workshop in Chhattisgarh during the peak harvesting season of Minor Forest Products (MFPs) where the working processes and systems adopted by this champion state will be explained to officials of other states. It was recommended that the state also submit a proposal for inclusion of 15 more items to the list of MFPs under the scheme of MSP for MFP.

Other discussion items revolved around the sale of tribal handloom, handicraft and natural food products. TRIFED is mooting an arrangement with all the state federations for the same. It is also considering opening 10 TRIBES India outlets in Chhattisgarh – two of which were opened during this visit itself.

This successful meeting set the tone for the activities and further deliberations of this four-day visit. Ground level implementation, challenges and progress of these tribal development schemes were reviewed and future plans were charted over the course of the next few days.

Starting with Chhattisgarh, progress in other states will also be reviewed over the next few weeks. It is hoped that with such a review, monitoring and implementation of the programmes at ground level, there will be an impact in generating income for the tribal people and empower them.

TRIFED is continuing in its mission to effect a complete transformation of tribal lives and livelihoods across the country.

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