Topic of the Day – Van Dhan Scheme

Government schemes are an important part of the polity and governance segment of the UPSC syllabus.

The Van Dhan Scheme of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) was launched by the Prime Minister. First model Van Dhan Vikas Kendra was also inaugurated. Van Dhan Vikas Kendras provide skill up gradation and capacity building training and setting up of primary processing and value addition facility.

The scheme aims at economic development of tribal involved in the collection of Minor Food Produces (MFPs) by helping them in optimum utilization of natural resources and provide them a sustainable livelihood.

Implementation:

The scheme will be implemented through Ministry of Tribal Affairs as Nodal Department at the Central Level and TRIFED as Nodal Agency at the National Level.

  • At State level, the State Nodal Agency for MFPs and the District collectors are envisaged to play a pivot role in scheme implementation at the grassroot level.
  • Locally the Kendras are proposed to be managed by a Managing Committee (an SHG) consisting of representatives of Van Dhan SHGs in the cluster.
  • At the unit level, aggregation of produce would be done by SHGs having about 30 members each forming Van Dhan Vikas ‘Samuh’. They are then trained and provided with working capital to add value to the products, which they collect from the jungle.

The tribals will be trained on sustainable harvesting, collection, primary processing and value addition. They will be formed into clusters to aggregate their stock in tradable quantity and link them with the facility of primary processing in Van Dhan Vikas Kendra. The Van Dhan Vikas Kendras will be important milestone in the economic development of tribals involved in the collection of MFPs by helping them in optimum utilization of natural resources and provide sustainable MFP-based livelihood in MFP-rich districts.

The central and state governments will provide necessary support by creating infrastructure and providing enabling environment for undertaking value addition of systematic scientific lines.

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