New Delhi: TRIFED, as the nodal agency working for the empowerment of tribals, has been focusing its efforts on finding new ways to improve the lives and the livelihoods of the tribal people. With this objective in mind, TRIFED has now entered into a collaborative project titled “Sustainable Livelihoods For Tribal Households in India” with The LINK Fund, a philanthropic operational foundation
headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, which is mandated to implement and scale and business solutions to extreme poverty and climate change.
TRIFED and The LINK Fund have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on April 29, 2021 to work together towards Tribal Development and employment generation by providing sup[port to tribals for increasing value addition in their produce and products; Sustainable livelihoods and value addition for increase in income and employment generation through technological intervention for efficiency in value addition for MFPs, produce and crafts diversification, skill training and enhancement of value additions in minor forest produce.
The MoU was signed by Shri Pravir Krishna, Managing Director TRIFED, and Tony Kalm, CEO and Co-founder, The LINK Fund and was attended by senior officials of TRIFED and The LINK Fund.
As a part of this association, both the organizations will also work together to creating women-centered infrastructure and innovation and entrepreneurship. The LINK Fund (TLS) is a practitioner-led fund that ends extreme poverty and mitigates the effects of climate change. The Link Fund has its major offices in Washington, DC, USA and Geneva, Switzerland. TLF is promoted by the One Acre Fund, an international organization, with most of its footprint in African countries.
During the virtual meeting, Shri Krishna spoke about the various initiatives, especially the Van-Dhan startups which has become a pivotal source in generating employment opportunities among the tribal artisans and forest gatherers. “The empowerment of the tribal people is the main objective of TRIFED. All our efforts, be it in getting better prices for their produce, helping them add value to the basic produce, or enable them to get access to larger markets, or collaborations such as these are targeted at achieving this. We are happy to collaborate with the LINK Fund to provide the latest and best support to the tribals of India.”
Shri Pravir Krishna, Managing Director TRIFED said while reaffirming TRIFED’s commitment towards improving the lives and livelihoods of the tribal people.
Tony Kalm, CEO, The LINK Fund mentioned that The LINK Fund is excited to commence the intervention working in close coordination with TRIFED’s leadership team and to draw out Detailed Project Implementation Plan, Estimate budgetary estimates for impactful interventions and to mobilize funds etc. The LINK Fund has committed to bring in its technical expertise also into the program. He also reaffirmed his organisation’s commitment to the project. He added that learning while doing will be the mode given the segment of the community (tribals) being served and m arket development for NTFP products as raw materials and finished products will be an important aspect of the intervention.
Among its flagship programmes and implementations, The ‘Mechanism for Marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) through Minimum Support Price (MSP) & Development of Value Chain for MFP’ Scheme, in particular, has impacted the tribal ecosystem as never before. Implemented by TRIFED in association with State Government Agencies across 21 states of the country, the scheme has injected more than Rs 3000 crores directly in the tribal economy since April 2020. Aided by the Government push in May 2020 wherein the prices of Minor Forest Produce (MFPs) were increased by up to 90% and the inclusion of 23 new items in the MFP list, this flagship scheme of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, which draws its strength from The Forest Rights Act of 2005, aims to provide remunerative and fair prices to tribal gatherers of forest produces.
The Van Dhan Vikas Kendras/ tribal start-ups, also a component of the same scheme, further complements MSP beautifully and has emerged as a source of employment generation for tribal gatherers and forest dwellers and the home-bound tribal artisans. The beauty of the programme is that it ensures that the proceeds from the sales of these value-added products go to the tribals directly.
To take this to the next logical phase, TRIFED is exploring convergences with organisations, government and non-government and academic, to continue its mission towards tribal empowerment. The aim is to pooling strengths together and undertake work that will help in boosting the income and livelihoods of the tribal people.
Both teams from TRIFED and the LINK Fund will immediately get on with detailing the Action plan – which will be reviewed Week on week basis. A Project steering committee is also being formed with members from both organizations. Once the appropriate regulatory approvals are obtained from the Govt of India, the financial interventions will commence.
With the successful implementation of this collaboration, TRIFED aims to contribute to the transformation of tribal lives and livelihoods.