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TRIFED and Government of Arunachal Pradesh have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on March 19, 2021 for the implementation of the MSP for MFP Scheme and the Van Dhan Yojana in the state of Arunachal Pradesh. As a part of its mission to improve the livelihoods of the tribals(both forest dwellers and artisans) and work towards tribal empowerment, TRIFED has been carrying out several programmes and initiatives.

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The Rural Development Department in State of Arunachal Pradesh will be the nodal agency for the implementation of this scheme while Arunachal Pradesh State Rural Livelihood Mission (ArSRLM) will be the State Implementation Agency. Under this agreement, 100 Van Dhan Vikas Kendras are planned to be set-up in the state this year. The State Nodal Agency and Implementing Agency teams, along with TRIFED regional officials will be visiting the different villages and districts to oversee the implementation of the scheme. Conceptualized and implemented by TRIFED in association with State Government Agencies  across 21 states of the country, the ‘Mechanism for Marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) through Minimum Support Price (MSP) & Development of Value Chain for MFP’is a flagship scheme of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, drawing its strength from The Forest Rights Act of 2005,it aims to provide remunerative and fair prices to tribal gatherers of forest produces, almost three times higher than would be available to them from middle men, trebling their incomes.

The Van Dhan Yojana (VDY), a programme for value addition, branding & marketing of MFPs by establishing Van Dhan Kendras to facilitate creation of sustainable livelihoods for the forest-based tribes is a component of the same scheme. The MSP for MFP scheme has been a source of great relief for tribal gatherers during the pandemic and has injected more than Rs 3000 crores directly in the tribal economy. The Van Dhan tribal start-ups further complements MSP beautifully as it has emerged as a source of employment generation for tribal gatherers and forest dwellers and the home-bound tribal artisans. Together, these two initiatives offer a comprehensive development package for tribals promoting employment and incomes and entrepreneurship.

TRIFED has so far sanctioned 1770 Van Dhan Kendras (VDKs) in 21 States and 1 UT involving 5.3 lakh tribal gatherers. This includes 586 VDVKs sanctioned associated with 1.73 tribal beneficiaries in the North-Eastern States. Arunachal Pradesh was one of the North-Eastern states where the scheme had not yet been started. With the execution of the MoU, now work will progress in Arunachal Pradesh.  TRIFED continues to work towards generating income and livelihoods for tribal people through such flagship schemes like the MSP for MFP and the Van Dhan Yojana.