Minor Forest Produce

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Context: The government of India has notified 50 items in the list of Minor Forest Produce. The information was provided by the  Union Minister of State for Tribal Affairs during a parliament discussion.

Mains: GS II- Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

Minor Forest Produce:

  • An important source of livelihoods for tribal people are non-wood forest products, generally termed 'Minor Forest Produce (MFP)' means all non-timber forest produce of plant origin and will include bamboo, canes, fodder, leaves, gums, waxes, dyes, resins and many forms of food including nuts, wild fruits, Honey, Lac, Tusser etc.
  • The Minor Forest Produces provide both subsistence and cash income for people who live in or near forests.
  • They form a major portion of their food, fruits, medicines and other consumption items and also provide cash income through sale.
  • Minor Forest Produce (MFP) starts with the word “Minor” but is a major source of livelihood for tribals who belong to the poorest of the poor section of society.
  • The Minor Forest Produce has significant economic and social value for the forest dwellers as an estimated 100 Million people derive their source of livelihood from the collection and marketing of Minor Forest Produce (Report of the National Committee on Forest Rights Act, 2011).
  • It is important for them for food, shelter medicines and case income beside providing critical subsistence during the lean seasons, particularly for primitive tribal groups such as hunter-gatherers, and the landless.
  • Tribals derive 20-40% of their annual income from Minor Forest Produce on which they spend a major portion of their time.
  • This activity has a strong linkage to women’s financial empowerment as most of the Minor Forest Produces are collected and used/sold by women. Minor Forest Produce sector has the potential to create about 10 million workdays annually in the country.

Van Dhan Vikas Karyakram:

  • Van Dhan Vikas Karyakram is primarily a component under the Mechanism for Marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) through Minimum Support Price (MSP) & Development of Value Chain of Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA).
  • The training component of the Scheme is proposed to be taken up in programme (Karyakram) mode to provide enhanced livelihood and income generation for tribals.
  • Van Dhan Vikas Karyakram is an initiative targeting livelihood generation for tribals by harnessing the wealth of forest i.e. Van Dhan.
  • The programme aims to tap into traditional knowledge & skill sets of tribals by adding technology & IT to upgrade it at each stage and to convert the tribal wisdom into a viable economic activity.
  • The proposition is to set-up tribal community owned MFP-centric multi-purpose Van Dhan Vikas Kendras (the Kendra) in predominantly tribal districts. Each Kendra would act as common facility centres for procurement cum value addition to locally available MFPs and skill-based handicraft.
  • A typical Van Dhan Vikas Kendra shall constitute of 10 tribal Van Dhan Vikas Self Help Groups (SHG), each comprising of up to 30 MFP gatherers or tribal handicraft artisans i.e. about 300 beneficiaries per Kendra (subject to variability as per local conditions).

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