A day after hiking the minimum support price (MSP) of minor forest produce from 16% to 66%, the Centre advised all states Sunday to speed up procurement operations. This is to help tribals, amid the Covid-19 pandemic and also keeping in view that it is now peak season for gathering of MFP.
As many as 10 states have already initiated the process of procurement of Minor Forest Produce, to the tune of Rs 20 crore. It is expected that the entire procurement operation will get a further push after announcement of revised MSP for 49 items, including giloe, kokum, dried amla pulp, tejpatta, neem seeds and tamarind, said an official from the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
The highest price revision has been done in Giloe, Mahua flowers, Hill Grass, and Lac (Rangeeni and Kusumi), while the prices of Sal seeds, Baheda and Myrobalan have been kept unchanged.
The order issued by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs states that the MSP for MFPs is revised once every three years by the Pricing Cell constituted under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs. However, in view of the exceptional and very difficult circumstances currently, affecting around five crore forest-dwelling tribals, the authorities has decided to relax the existing provisions in the scheme guidelines.
Meanwhile, an online monitoring dashboard has been created for reporting the procurement activities undertaken at the state level. It’s called the Van Dhan Monit Dashboard, as part of the “TRIFED E- Sampark Setu” that aims to facilitate exchange of information to and from every Panchayat and Van Dhan Kendra, either through email or mobile phone.
Pravir Krishna, MD, TRIFED, said they propose to link up with 10 lakh villages, district and state-level partners, agencies and SHGs. States have appointed the Van Dhan Kendras as their primary procurement agents for MFP procurements from haat bazaars. Around 1126 such centres have been sanctioned in 21 States and 1 UT involving 3.6 lakh tribal beneficiaries.
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