Van Dhan Yojana: Van Dhan Vikas Kendras playing a pivotal role in turning around the Rural tribal forest economy.
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- The Van Dhan tribal start-ups programme or Van Dhan Yojana is a component of the ‘Mechanism for Marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) through Minimum Support Price (MSP) & Development of Value Chain for MFP’ Scheme.
- A flagship scheme of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, drawing its strength from The Forest Rights Act of 2005, aims to provide remunerative and fair prices to tribal gatherers of forest produces, almost three times higher than would be available to them from middlemen, trebling their incomes.
- The Van Dhan tribal start-ups, also a component of the same scheme, is a programme for value addition, branding & marketing of Minor Forest Produces by establishing Van Dhan Kendras to facilitate the creation of sustainable livelihoods for the forest-based tribes.
- It further complements MSP beautifully as it has emerged as a source of employment generation for tribal gatherers and forest dwellers and tribal artisans.
- Manipur, in particular, has emerged as the Champion state where the Van Dhan programme has emerged as a major source of employment for the local tribals.
- The North-East is leading the way with 80% of the established VDVKs. Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh are other states where the scheme has been adopted with overwhelming results.
- The Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) came into existence in 1987. It is a national-level apex organization functioning under the administrative control of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
- TRIFED has its Head Office located in New Delhi and has a network of 13 Regional Offices located at various places in the country.
- It mainly undertakes two functions viz. Minor Forest Produce (MFP) development and Retail Marketing and Development.
- The ultimate objective of TRIFED is the socio-economic development of tribal people in the country by way of marketing development of the tribal products such as metal craft, tribal textiles, pottery, tribal paintings and pottery on which the tribals depends heavily for a major portion of their income.
- TRIFED acts as a facilitator and service provider for tribes to sell their product.
- The approach by TRIFED aims to empower tribal people with knowledge, tools and a pool of information so that they can undertake their operations in a more systematic and scientific manner.
- It also involves capacity building of the tribal people through sensitization, formation of Self Help Groups (SHGs) and imparting training to them for undertaking a particular activity.
To achieve self-sufficiency in pulses Union Government formulates strategy for Kharif 2021
- With an aim to attain self-sufficiency in the production of pulses, the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has formulated a special Kharif strategy for implementation in the ensuing Kharif 2021 season.
- Through consultations with the state governments, a detailed plan for both area expansion and productivity enhancement for Tur, Moong and Urad has been formulated. Under the strategy, utilising all the high yielding varieties (HYVs) of seeds that are available either with the Central Seed Agencies or in the States will be distributed free of cost to increase area through the intercropping and sole crop.
- For the coming Kharif 2021, it is proposed to distribute 20,27,318 (almost 10 times more seed mini kits than 2020-21) amounting to Rs. 82.01 crores. The total cost for these mini-kits will be borne by the Central Government to boost the production and productivity of tur, moong and urad.
- From a meagre production of 14.76 million tonnes in 2007-08, the figure has now reached 24.42 million tonnes in 2020-2021 (2nd advance estimates) which is a phenomenal increase of65%.
- This success is largely attributed to several significant interventions at the central level.
- The Government has consistently been focussing on bringing new areas under pulses along with ensuring that productivity is also increased in the existing areas under cultivation. Therefore, the production and productivity of pulses must be further sustained and increased through the approach of both horizontal and vertical expansion.
- The most significant input for increasing production and productivity has been the focus of providing quality seeds to the farmers.
Kharif Season is the cropping season in India starts in June and ends in October where monsoon crops are cultivated and harvested.
Examples of Kharif Crops: rice, sorghum, maize, tea, rubber, coffee, guar, Sesame, cereals such as Arhar Dhal, pearl millet, soybeans, cotton, oilseeds, etc.
Benefits of pulses:
- Pulses are rich in nutritional and protein values and are an important part of a healthy diet.
- Pulses, and legumes (lentils, peas, chickpeas, beans, soybeans, and peanuts) play an equally important role in health maintenance and overall improvement.
- Pulses also contribute majorly to achieving the goals of the 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development.
- Pulses play a critical role in marking challenges of poverty, food chain security, degraded health, and climate change.
- Pulses and legume crops help in improving the feasibility of agricultural production systems.
- Pulses contribute to environmental benefits. The nitrogen-fixing properties of pulses improve soil fertility, which increases the productivity and fertility of the farmland.
- Pulses are important for a healthy diet.