MoU signed for setting up van dhan vikas kendras

ITANAGAR, 19 Mar: The state’s rural development (RD) department and the Tribal Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (TRIFED) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) under the ‘Mechanism for marketing of minor forest produce (MFP) through minimum support price (MSP) and development of value chain for MFP’ here on Friday.

The RD department was represented by its director and the TRIFED was represented by its Northeast regional manager.

The state government has designated the RD department as the nodal department and the Arunachal State Rural Livelihoods Mission (ArSRLM) as the designated nodal agency for implementation of the scheme.

The scheme’s implementation would be done through SHGs under the DAY-NRLM and their collectives, eg, producer groups, farmers-producers organizations, and federations of SHGs. These institutions would operate the van dhan vikas kendras (VDVK) in their respective clusters. The VDVKs would be startup level centres for procurement, value addition and marketing.

The ArSRLM would be actively engaged in training SHGs and associated institutions of rural poor women on proper harvesting, conservation and regeneration of MFP, value addition and marketing. It will also develop standardized operating procedures for ensuring that the VDVKs transfer surplus accrued from their operations to the tribal producers, which would include indigenous tribal producers not restricted to DAY-NRLM SHG members.

TRIFED regional manager AD Mishra expressed confidence that the ArSRLM would meet the targets allocated to Arunachal under the VDVK programme, and assured of all assistance from the TRIFED to the implementing agency. He mentioned that Manipur is producing world-class products and has been able to do business of Rs 1.90 crore in the past nine months.

The RD director commended the role of the ArSRLM and said that the mission would be supported in all possible manner “for ensuring successful partnership with TRIFED.” He lauded the proactive response of the TRIFED and commended the support extended to tribal producers in terms of technical expertise and marketing. He also lauded the proactive role of the RD secretary in ensuring that the MoU was signed within the current financial year.

“The ArSRLM is best suited to implement the scheme, and the SHGs and their federations are a good example of social capital,” he said, and requested Mishra to visit Arunachal again after the VDVKs under the scheme are operational.

ArSRLM Chief Operating Officer Dr Rakesh Srivastava presented a brief outline of the scheme and explained the role of the DAY-NRLM “in reference to implementation of scheme.” He also spoke on the role of the SRLMs in other NE states with regard to the implementation of the scheme.

It was decided that the ArSRLM would mobilize the producer groups, farmers-producers organizations and cluster level federations to operate the VDVKs. These VDVKs would operate on a business plan (revenue) model.

The ArSRLM will develop the standard operating procedures for the functioning of the VDVKs, in consultation with experts from the National Mission Management Unit of the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM). It will also incorporate the suggestions and inputs of the TRIFED in this regard.