Raipur: Chhattisgarh is being awarded at national-level in eight sub-categories for the excellent performance in procurement, processing and marketing of minor forest produces and for implementation of Van Dhan Yojana in the state under the leadership of chief minister Bhupesh Baghel.
Two awards are being conferred upon the state for new products and innovations. Tribal Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd, Government of India New Delhi (TRIFED) has announced these awards on the basis of performance of various states. Minor forest produce collection in the state is being done by Chhattisgarh State Minor Forest Produce Association. Minister of Tribal Affairs, Government of India, Arjun Munda will present these awards to Chhattisgarh virtually on 6th August at 12 noon.
Chief minister Bhupesh Baghel has congratulated Forest Minister Mohammad Akbar, and all the officials-employees of Forest Department, Chhattisgarh State Forest Forest Produce Association, forest committees and the self-help groups engaged in collection and processing of forest produce, for this mega achievement.
Chhattisgarh has bagged the first prize for inclusion of maximum number of forest produce under the Minimum Support Price scheme for minor forest produce in year 2020-21, for procurement of minor forest produce at the highest price from State Government’s and Central Government’s funds, maximum utilization of the funds sanctioned in year 2020-21, completion of maximum survey under Van Dhan Yojana, for maximum training for forest development center clusters, for manufacturing maximum products through value addition, for maximum sale of products after value addition. Besides, under the ‘new product and innovation category’, Chhattisgarh will be awarded for the innovative manufacturing of sanitizer from Mahua and for producing new products from tamarind.
Under the awards announced by TRIFED, Chhattisgarh has secured the first prize for including maximum number of new forest produce under Minimum Support Price Scheme for Minor Forest Produce in year 2020-21. It is noteworthy that 52 types of minor forest produce have been included under the Minimum Support Price Scheme of Chhattisgarh. The second prize in this category has been awarded to Maharashtra, where 21 forest produce have been included under this scheme.
Chhattisgarh has also secured the first prize for procurement of minor forest produce at maximum value, utilizing the funds sanctioned by Government of India. Minor forest produce worth Rs 180.51 crore has been procured under this scheme in Chhattisgarh. Andhra Pradesh is being awarded second prize in this category for procurement of forest produce worth Rs 4.51 crore. Similarly, for procurement of minor forest produce from Central Government’s and State Government’s funds, Chhattisgarh will be awarded first prize for procurement of forest produce worth Rs.1173 crore, whereas the second prize will be awarded to Orissa for procurement of minor forest produce worth Rs.30.32 crore. In the category of maximum utilization of funds till year 2020-21, Chhattisgarh will be given first prize for utilization of Rs 127.09 crore and second prize will be given to Orissa for utilization of Rs 30.32 crore.
For completing maximum survey under Van Dhan Yojana, Chhattisgarh will be given the first prize and Nagaland will be given the second prize. In the category of providing maximum training to Van Dhan Vikas Kendra clusters, Chhattisgarh will be awarded the first prize and Nagaland will be awarded the second prize. In the category of manufacturing maximum products through value-addition, Chhattisgarh will be given the first prize for manufacturing 121 products and Maharashtra will be given second prize for 120 products. Similarly, Chhattisgarh will be given first prize for sale of products worth Rs 4.24 crore and Manipur will be given second prize for sale of products worth Rs 1.98 crore, under the category of maximum sale of products after value addition. Under the category of new products and innovations, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra will be jointly awarded for production of sanitizers from Mahua. Besides, Chhattisgarh is being awarded for the innovation of forest produce product 'Tamarind Chaska'.
It is noteworthy that roughly 44% of the area in Chhattisgarh is covered in forests, and the major source of livelihood for the forest dwellers here is the collection of forest produce. State Government is procuring 52 minor forest produces instead of seven, and has also increased the support price to provide fair value of the produce to the collectors. More than 6 lakh forest produce collectors are being benefitted under the scheme. For the last two years, Chhattisgarh has maintained the top rank in the state for procurement of forest produce. These forest produce are being procured through 4785 women self-help groups in the state. As a result of the increased number of forest produce procured and also the increase in minimum support price, more than 13 lakh poor and tribal people engaged in minor forest produce collection are earning an additional income of Rs 501.70 crore per annum.
As many as 139 Van Dhan Vikas Kendras established in the state for primary processing of minor forest produce and nearly 17, 424 beneficiaries are being benefitted through these centres. 70 of these Van Dhan Vikas Kendra is engaged in processing minor forest produce as herbal products. And these products of 'Chhattisgarh Herbals' are also available for sale on the platforms like Amazon. “Chhattisgarh Herbals” has been established as a nationwide brand in year 2021-22, and the herbal products are being sold across the country. Target has been set to sell products worth Rs 10 crores in year 2021-22. This will benefit about 5000 members of women self-help groups engaged in the processing work.