A group of tribal youth from the Katkari community in Shahpur has come together to market Giloy, a herb used in treatment of viral fever, malaria as well as diabetes. The herb has a huge demand from pharmaceutical companies.
The initiative began when Sunil Pawar, a youth from Katkari community, and his team of 10-12 friends — who facilitated various work of Katkari tribals at revenue offices in Shahpur — decided to start an enterprise of selling Giloy in local markets. The group set up Adivasi Ekatmik Samajik Sanstha, which attracted locals from the community.
Meanwhile, Pawar came across an advertisement of Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojana run by TRIFED, Ministry of Tribal Affairs, in association with ST Welfare department, Maharashtra.
PMVDY is a retail marketing-led value addition plan for Minor Forest Produce (MFP), meant for forest-based tribes to optimise the tribal income. Pawar approached them and soon the demand for Giloy picked up.
“Not confining ourselves to local market and pharma companies, we plan to take Giloy to far away markets with the help of big retail chains. We have created a website too. Online sale is happening through it during the lockdown. The government has issued passes to us so that produce can be transported without hindrance,” Pawar said.
Efforts are being made by the Sanstha to not only expand the market for the produce but also to diversify into other forest products.
“Shabri Adivasi Vitta Vikas Mahamandal plans to train self help groups in establishing backward and forward linkages for their produce. In backward linkages, we will train tribals about how to pick Giloy without affecting its long-term availability and they will also be taught about plantation of the same. In forward linkages, we will train them to process Giloy into making different products, which will fetch better price for them,” said Nitin Patil, managing director of Mahamandal, created under the state government.
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