Van Dhan Vikas Yojana – Promoting and Backing Tribal Entrepreneurship

NEW DELHI: On Friday, PM Narendra Modi apprises that, “We will establish 50,000 ‘Van Dhan Vikas Kendras’ in the tribal areas of the country to ensure the availability of primary processing and value addition for forest produce and to provide employment for tribals and increase tribal income,”.

As per TRIFED, in less than 18 months, 33,360 Van DhanVikas Kendras, subsumed into 2224 VDVKCs of 300 forest dwellers each, have been sanctioned by TRIFED as of March 31, 2021. TRIFED states that a typical Van Dhan Vikas Kendra includes 20 tribal members. 15 such Van Dhan Vikas Kendras form 1 Van Dhan Vikas Kendra cluster. The Van Dhan Vikas Kendra Clusters will provide the Van Dhan Vikas Kendras economies of scale, livelihood and market-linkages, as well as entrepreneurship opportunities to Tribal forest gatherers in 23 states and 2 UTs.

This had been the Prime Minister’s Sankalp as a part of his vision for overall development of the country and to make each section of society self-reliant and empowered.

The remaining16,640 Van Dhan Kendras (on boarding of 3.3 Lakh Tribal households), against the target of 50000 VDVKs, subsumed in approximately 600 VDVKCs is now being expedited with respective State Nodal Departments and State Implementation Agencies under TRIFED’s Sankalp Se Siddhi initiative. These are expected to be sanctioned within the next three months. 

Among the many initiatives, TRIFED 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 of the same scheme, is a programme for value addition, branding & marketing of Minor Forest Produces by establishing Van Dhan Kendras 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. Many success stories from different parts of the country have come to the fore.   

The Mission will also envisage setting up of 200 VanDhan Producer Companies under a Special Purpose Vehicle with a network of 3000 MFP Collection centers in Haat Bazaars,  600 Godowns under MSP for MFP scheme, Setting up of 200 Mini TRIFOOD Units and 100 Common Facility Centers, Setting up of 100 TRIFOOD parks within 275 (1) districts and DMF,  Development of 100 embellishment (SFURTI) clusters under MSME,  Setting up of 200 Tribes India retail stores and building ecommerce platforms for TRIFOOD and Tribes India brands.