TRIFED exchanges MoU with Central Agriculture University, Directorate of Extension Education, Imphal for the development and promotion of beneficiaries of Van Dhan Kendras in the North-Eastern States
New Delhi: As a part of its mission to improve the livelihoods of the tribals (both forest dwellers and artisans) and work towards tribal empowerment, TRIFED is exploring convergences and partnerships with like-minded organisations to create synergies together. In this regard, TRIFED has tied up with Central Agriculture University, Directorate of Education, Manipur to undertake the development and promotion of tribal products in a holistic manner and for the development of the Van Dhan Kendras in the North-Eastern States.
TRIFED and CAU have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on March 8, 2021 to cement this collaborative effort. The MoU was exchanged between Vice Chancellor of Univeesity and Dy. General Manager, TRIFED. This MoU exchange took place in Imphal during the inauguration of the Regional Agri Fair 2020-21 which is being held from 8-10 March 2021 on the theme “Agriculturally Vibrant & Self Reliant (AVSR) NEH Region” for showcasing the Agri allied sectors activities, technologies of the NEH Region.
The two organizations have agreed to work together for the development of the beneficiaries of the Van Dhan Kendras in the region to achieve the common goal of enhancing the livelihoods of the tribal people.
TRIFED has been implementing the Van Dhan Yojana (VDY), a programme for value addition, branding & marketing of MFPs by establishing Van Dhan Kendras to facilitate creation of sustainable livelihoods for the forest-based tribes. The Van Dhan start-ups have emerged to be a credible source of employment generation and income for the tribals. In a typical Van Dhan Kendra, the tribal beneficiaries are expected to create an enterprise, which would be involved in all related aspects from collection of forest produce, training of tribal beneficiaries, value-addition and processing, packaging, branding and marketing of value added forest products.
TRIFED has so far sanctioned 1770 Van Dhan Kendras (VDKs) in 21 States and 1 UT involving 5.3 lakh tribal gatherers. This includes 586 VDVKs sanctioned associated with 1.73 tribal beneficiaries in the NE States. These products are then procured by TRIFED for sale through its offline and online Stores. The beauty of this programme is that the proceeds of the sales go directly to the tribal entreprenuers. Through this partnership, it has been agreed that the Central Agriculture University, Imphal through its expertise and network in NE States, shall support the Van Dhan Kendras located in NE States (except Assam), in providing necessary training and capacity building to the tribal beneficiaries and help them in undertaking various activities like value-addition, processing, packaging, branding and marketing of value-added products, for converting Van Dhan Kendras into viable enterprises. It has also been agreed to collaborate together in terms of providing technological support for product enhancement, new product development and adoption of advanced processing technology for value-addition of tribal products in these micro-enterprises.
The aim is to combine all synergies so that more such micro-enterprises can be created at the village level, leading to an enhancement of their incomes and livelihoods.
Meanwhile, in the Agri-F event, all related ministries, departments, and institutes viz., MoAFW, MeitY, MoFPI, MDoNER, NEC, Agriculture, Horticulture & Soil Conservation, Animal Husbandry, Fisheries, Forest, Rural Development, Tribal Welfare, NABARD, Banks, Research Institutes, ICAR, CFTRI, CSIR, ATARI, Universities, Colleges, Coconut Board, National Horticulture Board, Silk Board, Rubber Board, Bamboo Mission, Khadi Board, KVKs, FPOs, NGOs, SHGs, Agrientrepreneurs, Agri-Incubation Centers, Private Companies/Input dealers, Agri allied book Publishers, etc. are participating for showcasing their activities, live demonstrations, technologies demonstrations, etc. for the overall development of the agriculture sectors in the NEH region.
In fact the existing VDVKs / micro-enterprises from Manipur have also set up their stalls at this two-day fair.
With the successful implementation of this collaboration and other convergences, TRIFED continues to work towards generating income and livelihoods for these people and ultimately help in in a complete transformation of tribal lives and livelihoods across the country.