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Benefiting the tribal livelihoods of Odisha through the Van Dhan Yojana

As a part of TRIFED’s “Sankalp se Siddhi” – Village & Digital Connect Drive, teams (comprising officials from TRIFED and State Implementation Agencies/Mentoring Agencies/Partners) have beenvisiting villages  to activate and understand the status of Van Dhan Vikas Kendras. The visits are taking place across the country and have helped Team TRIFED to oversee the ground-level implementation of the Van Dhan Vikas Kendras.

A state where the implementation of the Van Dhan Yojana is gaining quick ground is Odisha. With 660 Van Dhan Vikas Kendras, subsumed into 22 Van Dhan Vikas Kendra Clusters, more than 6300 tribals are being positively impacted in the state.

Over the past few months, training, procurement of machinery required for processing, branding and packaging has been going on in these clusters which are spread across the state in Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Rayagada, Sundergarh and Koraput. Production and processing of raw materials by the tribals has commenced earlier this month.

In Mayurbhanj district, tribal beneficiaries in three clusters, Luguburu VDVKC, MaaDharithri VDVKC and Bhimakund VDVKC will work on processing sal leaf, sal seeds, kusum seeds and wild honey to produce plates, cups made of sal leaves, Kusum oil and processed honey. In Keonjhar districts, tribal beneficiaries of  theAnchalikaKhandadhar VDVKC will process raw mango, mustard and turmeric into Aampapad, mango pickle, turmeric powder and mustard oil. In Ban Durga VDVKC cluster the MFPs which will be value added are tamarind, sal seeds and char seeds to be made into deseeded tamarind, tamarind cake, sal shampoo and packed char seeds.

Other value-added products that will be processed in the VDVK clusters in the districts of Koraput, Rayagada and Sundargarh include tamarind cake, mahua oil, organic packaged rice, Mahua oil, neem oil, neem cake, deseeded chironji and turmeric powder.

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Among the many initiatives, TRIFED, Ministry of Tribal Affairs is implementing to generate employment and income generation among the tribal population is the Van Dhan tribal start-ups programme, a component of the the ‘Mechanism for Marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) through Minimum Support Price (MSP) & Development of Value Chain for MFP’ Scheme.

The Van Dhan tribal start-ups, also a component ofthe same scheme, is a programme for value addition, branding & marketing of Minor Forest Produces by establishing Van DhanKendras to facilitate creation of sustainable livelihoods for the forest-based tribes.

Over the past 18 months, the Van Dhan Vikas Yojana has gained tremendous ground with its quick adoption and robust implementation aided by the state nodal and implementation agencies across India.

With the VDVKCs gaining ground and starting production in Odisha with these clusters, the benefits of this programme will reach the tribals of this Eastern State and help in improving their lives and livelihoods.

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