The Union Government has proposed to set up 3000 Van Dhan Kendras involving 30,000 Self Help Groups (SHGs) across the country under its Van Dhan Scheme. This will help in empowering tribals by providing them skill up-gradation and capacity building training for value addition of forest produce for modernizing traditional tribal-rural economic system.
Van Dhan Scheme
The scheme was launched by Prime Minister on 14th April, 2018 during the celebrations of Ambedkar Jayanti at Bijapur Chattisgarh. It aims at targeting livelihood generation for tribals by harnessing non-timber minor forest produces (MFP), the true wealth of forest (i.e. Van Dhan). For this, it will provide them skill up-gradation and capacity building training for value addition of forest produce. Value addition will ensure remunerative prices to tribals.
It also aims at building upon traditional knowledge and skill sets of tribals by adding technology & IT for value addition. It also aims to promote MFPs-centric livelihood development of tribal gatherers and artisans It will promote and leverage collective strength of tribals (through SHGs) to achieve scale.
Implementation: It will be implemented through Ministry of Tribal Affairs at Central Level and Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) as nodal agency at National Level by providing training and technical support. At State level, state nodal agency for MFPs and district collectors will play pivot role in scheme implementation at grassroot level.
Van Dhan Vikas Kendra: TRIFED will facilitate establishment of MFP-led multi-purpose kendras predominantly forested tribal districts. These kendras will be cluster of 10 SHGs comprising of 30 tribal MFP gatherers each. They will provide skill upgradation and capacity building training and setting up of primary processing and value addition facility. Locally these kendras will be managed by Managing Committee (an SHG) consisting of representatives of Van Dhan SHGs in cluster. Big corporates will help to create secondary level value addition facility at district level and tertiary level value addition facility at state level under the PPP model.