Arjun Munda reviews implementation of tribal development programmes in Assam

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Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda (Photo/ANI)
Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda (Photo/ANI)

Guwahati (Assam) [India], September 13 (ANI): Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda reviewed the implementation of Tribal Development programmes in Assam and said that 'Van Dhan' can be a game-changer for promoting tribal livelihoods.

"Van Dhan can be a game-changer for promoting Tribal Livelihoods and enterprises in Assam while Eklavya Vidyalayas will impart uniform and high-quality education to tribal children," Munda said at the State Guest House in Guwahati on Sunday.

Munda was there to meet with the Chief Minister of Assam Himanta Biswa Sharma, while on a two-day visit to the state. The purpose of this extensive meeting with the Chief Minister was to review and understand the status of the implementation of tribal development programmes (Minor Forest Produce (MFP), Van Dhan Self Help Group (VDSHGs) and Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFOOD) projects) in the state, according to a release by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.

During the meeting, the progress made by Assam with respect to the programmes that have been put in place by the government for improving tribal lives such as the Minimum Support Price for Minor Forest Produce (MSP for MFP), Van Dhan Yojana, ESDP training for tribals were reviewed by Arjun Munda.

Earlier in August, the Chief Minister of Assam had met with the TRIFED team in New Delhi to chalk out plans for expanding tribal development in the state and defining the steps for the way forward.

On his two day visit, Munda is also accompanied by Pravir Krishna, Managing Director, TRIFED and other senior officials of the Ministry and TRIFED. Post the meeting with the Chief Minister, the Minister attended the Voice of North East Janjatiya Leader Conference at Lakshmi Bai National Institute of Physical Education at the NE Regional Centre.

Located in North-eastern India, Assam has a substantial tribal population, with 3,308,570 forest dwellers who constitute 12.4 per cent of the total population. The 'Mechanism for Marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) through Minimum Support Price (MSP) and Development of Value Chain for MFP' has come as a beacon of change in the past two years in this state.

Conceptualised and implemented by TRIFED in association with State Government Agencies across 21 states of the country, the scheme has emerged as a source of great relief for tribal gatherers injecting crores of rupees directly in the tribal economy, as per the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.

Assam has utilized the MSP for MFP scheme wherein the total procurement utilizing the Government of India fund is of 58.56 MT which is worth Rs. 37.39 Lakhs. Under the Van Dhan Scheme total of 1,920 VD SHG have been sanctioned which are subsumed into 128 VDVK Clusters. This is directly benefiting 37,786 forest tribal gatherers. The total amount sanctioned for the operationalization of these VDVKCs is Rs. 19.20 Crores, read the release. (ANI)

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