Over the past year, Tribal Co-operative Marketing Federation of India (TRIFED) has implemented several initiatives to help improve the livelihoods of the beleaguered tribals who had been severely impacted due to COVID-19 pandemic. To ensure these initiatives reach the tribals and they benefit from the existing schemes and initiatives, TRIFED’s regional officials across the country will be going to identified villages with a significant tribal population across the country and will set up base there till March 31, 2021. Being present on the ground level will help TRIFED’s officials oversee the implementation of these programmes and ensure the empowerment of the tribal brethren.
Adapting Go Vocal for Local, into Go Vocal for Local Go Tribal – Mera Van Mera Dhan Mera Udyam, several of these pathbreaking initiatives, other than the existing programmes, have emerged as a panacea for the tribals.
These initiatives include programmes like Van Dhan tribal start-ups and schemes like Mechanism for Marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) through Minimum Support Price (MSP) and Development of Value Chain for MFP, that provides MSP to gatherers of forest produces and introducing value addition and marketing through tribal groups and clusters which has found widespread acceptance across the country.
An all-encompassing digitisation drive had also been launched to not only promote tribal commerce but also map and link its village-based tribal producers and artisans to national and international markets by setting up state of the art e-platforms benchmarked to international standards.
TRIFED has digitised all the information related to the forest dwellers associated with the Van Dhan Yojana, village haats and their warehouses into a Van Dhan MIS portal. This digitisation effort wherein all tribal clusters are identified and mapped using GIS technology will be capitalised upon during this phase of village connect. TRIFED officials will ensure that all the tribal producers and clusters have been mapped to these digital systems and will receive all the benefits available in convergence with other ministries and agencies in villages will be connected to this portal.
Moreover, TRIFED has also launched a marketplace for tribal producers – forest dwellers and artisans, to facilitate the purchase of MFPs, handicrafts and handlooms online. Gradually, five lakh tribal producers across the country and sourcing their natural produce, handcrafted goods are being on-boarded on the marketplace. With the presence of the TRIFED officials on ground, it is expected that tribal artisans will be adequately informed and helped so that they can find greater access to larger markets and thereby improve their incomes.
It is expected that this phase of TRIFED’s village and digital connect will aid immensely in the successful implementation of all planned initiatives in the next year and effect a complete transformation of the tribal ecosystem across the country.
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