Manipur, March 19: Manipur has emerged as the champion state where the Van Dhan Vikas Yojana has emerged as a major source of employment for the local tribal.

Since the time that the programme was launched in the state in October 2019, 100 Van Dhan Vikas Kendras has been established.

These constitute 1500 SHGs and are benefitting 30,000 tribal entrepreneurs, who are involved in the collection, processing, value-adding, packaging and marketing of value-added products from minor forest produce.

With active cooperation and participation of the state government at every level, the Van Dhan Kendras of Manipur has turned out to be a model enterprise for the rest of the country.

Since its inception as the nodal agency working in the area of tribal upliftment, TRIFED has been implementing several programmes and initiatives.

The focus of these initiatives is to make India self-reliant under the Atmanirbhar Abhiyan.

The nodal office, along with the implementing agencies and ample support from the district administration and other stakeholders, have been instrumental in mentoring the tribal entrepreneurs through team meetings, Advocacy, workshops, training.

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Various cluster-wise training and skill development and the up-gradation for value addition of NTFPs and entrepreneurial management have also been organized at the district levels through collaboration with existing companies such as Zingran Foods, Meira Foods, Kangla Foods, and ThangjamAgro Industries (Likla).

The Van Dhan Vikas Yojana is a programme for the 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.

One major scheme that has contributed to increasing employment and income generation among the tribal population is the Van Dhan tribal start-ups programme, a component of the ‘Mechanism for Marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) through Minimum Support Price (MSP) & Development of Value Chain for MFP’ Scheme.