What is Van Dhan Scheme for the Tribes?
In the 2011 census, the rural inhabitants have 68% account in the country’s total population. It comprises 6,50,000 villages and 1,70,000 forest edge villages (FFV’s). These FFV’s are located in areas close to the forest.
In India, forests mainly exist in the region that has a high number of tribes that connect to the forest in different ways. The ways can be for their economy, culture, and other parts of life. Eventually, they have built an immense knowledge base on the forest tradition and its products. The tribes living in the forest area has found a key livelihood resource called Minor Forest Produce (MFP).
The Forest Right Acts defines MFPs as the plant origin of all non-timber forest products. These products include scrub, bamboo, cane, cocoon, and stump. The MFP also includes the products like honey, wax, medicinal plants and lac.
The tribes drive 20-40% of their yearly revenue from the MFPs. So the Ministry of Tribal Affairs planned to launch a measure. This measure will ensure a fair return to tribal gatherers. Further, this measure will support the market development of MFP. Undoubtedly in 2011, The Ministry of Tribal Affairs launched Minimum Support Price (MSP.).
The MSP is defined as the cost at which Government is purchasing crops from the farmers. It is an important part of the Agriculture Price Policy in India. Moreover, the MSP was launched for the schemes under MFP.
Subsequent to this, Prime Minister Mr Narender Modi established a scheme on 14 April 2018. They came with Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Vikas Yojna (PMVDVY). This scheme is a segment of MSP for the MFP scheme. The PMVDVY aimed to boost the tribes’ livelihood who are living in forest areas.
How was the Van Dhan scheme formed?
At the central level, the Ministery Of Tribal Affairs aimed to implement PMVDVY. It acts as a nodal department across the country. On the other hand, the Tribal Corporative Marketing Department Federation of India (TRIFED) implemented the PMVDVY. The application occurs at the national level. It acts as a nodal agency across the country. Both agencies aim to help in tribal income generation. Thus, the generation of income will harness the wealth of the forest, that is “VAN DHAN”.
Under the programme of PMVDVY, the Government plans to improve the income of tribes. It will be by adding value, commercializing and branding of MPFs. In addition to this, the formation of Van Dhan Vikas Kendra will encourage and promote tribal entrepreneurship.
What are the key Highlights of the Van Dhan Initiative?
- At the group level, the product collection would have accomplished by SHGs. It would have about 30 members in each form of Van Dhan Vikas “Samuh”.
- Further, the SHGs would embark on the MFPs primary value addition. It would be by using equipment such as small sieving and cutting tools, dryer, packaging tools etc. The equipment proximity will base on the MFPs in the region.
- A specific Van Dhan Vikas Samuh would have the following structure:
- Requirement for the formation of the framework/ building facility. It can be in any part of the recipient house or Gram / Government panchayat building.
- Tool kit/equipment which includes sieving tools, decorticator, etc. depending on the proximity of MFPs in the region.
- Fully provided training facilities for 30 trainees of a batch. It would be with the requirement of raw material and supply of trainee kits for training purposes.
- Arrangement of workable money for the SHGs. It would be through the association with banks, financial institutions, etc.
- In the identical village, a combination of ten alike SHGs would form a Van Dhan Vikas Kendra. On the successful operation of Kendra’s samuh, typical framework facilities would be given to Kendra. In the next phase, this may be given as a warehouse, building, etc. for the use of Samuh members.
- There is a defined list of major MFPs covered under the scheme. They are mahua flower, tamarind, hill broom, and Chirinjee. It could cover sal seed, mahua seed, sal leaves, myrobalan, mango (amchur), etc. Other than these, any other potential MFP can get on the list for value addition.
What is the Implementation of the Van Dhan scheme?
Beneath Van Dhan, there is a formation of 10 SHGs by gathering 30 tribes in each group. Further, these groups get the“Van Dhan Vikas Kendra” to upgrade skills and training in capacity building. They are also provided with VDVK for the facility of value addition. This Kendra is set up for the initial operation of the scheme. They prepare and give useful finance to add value to the products. Later they collect these products from the jungle.
As these groups work with the collector leader, they can sell their products outside the states. The TRIFED provides technical and training support.
There are two stages that cover the scheme to add enhanced tribes income value. They are:
1. At grass root level:
The acceptance of the scheme starts via the association of SHGs and implementing agencies. The initiation of convergence and network with other schemes would be usable for the service of existing SHGs. Further, these SHGs will get instruction in various departments. Their formation in groupings would collect their stock-in-trade quantity. Then, they will link themselves with a primary processing facility in a Van Dhan Vikas Kendra. The stock after the primary process shall be supplied to the agencies at the State level.
2. At Secondary level:
The facility of building value addition at the district, State and Territory level performs at the secondary level. Under the Public-Private Partnership Model, the big corporation companies may get involved. This model is seen in the utilization of private entrepreneurship skills for the processes. These will be largely refined value addition hubs that gets managed by private entrepreneurs.