New Delhi: TRIFED, as the nodal agency working for the empowerment of tribals, has been focussing 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 with Foundation for Innovation and Technology Transfer (FIIT), a unit established by IIT Delhi and M/s Rusicaa Beverages Private Ltd, Purbi Singhbhum, Jharkhand to commercialise the production of Mahua Nutra beverage – A Heritage Drink in the State of Jharkhand.
TRIFED, FITT and Rusicaa Beverages have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on September 16, 2021 to work together to enhance the income of tribals of Jharkhand through the commercial production and sale of Mahua nutra beverage, a value added product made out of Mahua flowere in the state. Shri Pravir Krishna, Managing Director, TRIFED; Shri Anil Wali, Managing Director, FIIT and Shri Doman Tudu, Director, Rusicaa Beverages signed the MoU in the presence of National Head-Banking & Finance, DICCI and senior officials from the three organisations.
TRIFED in association with FITT has developed this value added product Mahua nutra beverage made out of Mahua flower so that the tribals can benefit maximum from the value addition of MFPs and development of technologies. FITT act as the interface to foster, promote and sustain commercialization of this technology and now the technology is being licensed to M/s Rusicaa Beverages Private Ltd of Jharkhand for commercialization of this Mahua nutra beverage in Jharkhand. As a part of this project, M/s Rusicaa Beverages Private Ltd shall be procuring Mahua flower for production of Mahua Nutra beverage from Tribal forest gatherers of Jharkhand engaged in collection of Mahua flower and it’s processing in VDVK Clusters at price not below MSP price.
This is the first of its kind of initiative in the State of Jharkhand and the country by TRIFED. This opens up opportunities for partner entrepreneurs in other States looking for starting up nutra beverage unit as well for benefit of tribal communities across the country. The Mahua Nutra beverage in its improvised form is blended with Pomegranate fruit juice, which enhances the nutritional value and masks the flavour of Mahua beverage by improving its aroma and texture.
Foundation for Innovation and Technology Transfer is a unit established by Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD) as an Industry interface body to foster, promote and sustain commercialization of research results in the Institute. FITT has been authorized by IITD for exploring commercialization and societal outreach.
As a part of its various initiatives, especially the TRIFOOD project and the Van Dhan start-ups scheme, TRIFED has been focusing on enhancing the income of tribals through better utilization and value addition to the MFPs collected by the tribal forest gatherers. TRIFED also outsources R&D projects to scientific organisations /universities, etc. to develop value added products, process technologies, so that the tribals benefit maximum from the value addition of MFPs and development of technologies. And it is under this objective that this collaborative project with FIIT and M/s Rusicaa Beverages has been initiated.
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 already emerged as a beacon of change and has positively 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 Yojana, 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.
With the successful implementation of this collaboration, this unique, nutritional product will reach households across the country and become a common name and thus contribute to the transformation of tribal lives and livelihoods.