Union Minister for Tribal Affairs Shri Arjun Munda inaugurated the “Workshop on Van Dhan and Entrepreneurship Development” organized by TRIFED under Ministry of Tribal Affairs here today. Smt. Renuka Singh, Minister of State for Tribal Affairs and senior Officials of various Ministries and Departments were also present. Scheduled Tribe (ST) Members of Parliament graced the occasion, where they had been informed about the Van Dhan Scheme and the suggestions & advice were sought from them for implementing and expanding the scheme in their respective constituencies.
Addressing on the occasion, Shri Arjun Munda said that Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojana (PMVDY) is an initiative targeting livelihoods generation for tribals by harnessing the wealth of the forest i.e., Van Dhan. The programme aims to tap the traditional knowledge and skills of tribals and add branding, packaging and marketing skills to optimize their income through a market led enterprise model by setting up of Van Dhan Kendras (VDVKs). The objective of PMVDY is to create tribal enterprise comprising of tribal gatherers/ entrepreneurs, who would collectively undertake all related activities starting from collection of NTFPs through sustainable harvesting, value-addition, packaging, branding and marketing of value-added products. He informed the Members that PMVDY envisages creation of tribal enterprises for employment and entrepreneurship development of 45 Lakh tribals, involving 1 Lakh SHGs/5000 VDVKs covering 27 States and 307 districts during next 3 years..
The Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Govt of India through TRIFED started the above initiative in the month of Aug., 2019. TRIFED has so far sanctioned proposals for establishment of 1101 Van Dhan Kendras in 26 States and 1 UT. The scheme is being implemented through State Nodal Departments and State/District Implementing Agencies. Reputed Institutions like IITs, IIMs and National Level Intuitions have been associated for supporting this initiative by taking their help in devising the training module and imparting training to members of Van Dhan Kendras on various aspects including processing of forest products, branding, packaging and marketing of value-added products. These reputed Institution will continue their support post training to the members for developing an Van Dhan enterprise. Besides, Organisations like FICCI, CII, ASSOCHAM, PHD chamber, DICCI etc. are also being associated for bringing support and participation of trade and industry in this Van Dhan programme. TRIFED has reached out to various Ministries like Commerce, MSME, RD, Railways etc also for support to promote tribal products through a multi-pronged strategy.
The process of establishment of Van Dhan Kendras has gained momentum in the States. Out of sanctioned 1101 Van Dhan Kendras, 406 Van Dhan Kendras have identified tribal beneficiaries, 174 have done training of SHGs/VDVKs and 41 Kendras have initiated process of value-addition and processing operations.