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Tribal Affairs Deptt  to launch Prime Minister’s Van Dhan Scheme

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All districts to be covered in 3 phases; 10 Cr funding for SHGs and priority infrastructure:  Dr Shahid

SRINAGAR, SEPTEMBER 28: The Tribal Co-operative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED), Govt of India and J&K Tribal Affairs Department in coordination with District Administration finalised modalities for launch of tribal cooperatives support scheme, being introduced in 5 districts Phase-I which will be followed by remaining districts in two phases. Government of India on intervention of Lieutenant Governor Sh Manoj Sinha has initiated the process to extend the benefits of scheme to J&K for the first time. It will immensely benefit the forest dependent tribal communities.

The Tribal Affairs Department had formulated proposal for extension of Prime Minister’s Van Dhan Scheme to J&K aimed at providing livelihood support to tribal population, particularly women. The Scheme envisages to establish cluster of Tribal Self-Help Groups (SHGs) in tribal concentration pockets enabling the communities to avail various livelihood opportunities. SHGs with 20 members will be constituted and every cluster of 15 SHGs will be provided a grant of Rs 15.00 Lakh as initial support while every cluster will also be provided infrastructure support of Rs 20.00 Lakh each. Special focus is also being laid to establish SHGs of migratory population as well.

Secretary, Tribal Affairs Department along with Special Secretary Harun Malik, DC Inder Jeet, DC Rajouri Rajesh Shaban and DC Reasi Charandeep Singh, Director Tribal Affairs J&K Mushir Ahmed Mirza, JDP Shama un Ahmed and other senior officers discussed the modalities on behalf of J&K Govt. Amit Bhatnagar GM MFP Division, Sandeep Pahalwan DGM, Kuldeep Kaul Sr Manager, Shantanu Saharan Regional Manager North India, Haleema Sadaf, Sanjiv – Programme associates represented TRIFED and Ministry of Tribal Affairs.

In phase-I the scheme is being implemented in districts Rajouri, Poonch, Reasi, Ganderbal and Shopian aimed to cover more than 10,000 tribal youth, women and entrepreneurs for financial support, business development, packaging and value addition support, marketing and infrastructure support. In phase-II districts Doda, Kishtwar, Udhampur, Ramban, Kathua, Anantnag, Pulwama, Bandipora, Kulgam and Kupwara will be covered. TRIFED has empaneled and deputed technical support agency to assist the implementing organisations and districts. The scheme is being proposed to be implemented by the districts in coordination with JKSRLM and associated departments.

The department has already initiated the process for notification of Minor Forest Produce for which Minimum Support Price will be notified by TRIFED for J&K. The coordination mechanism is also aiming to establish a value addition chain and marketing linkages. TRIFED outlets are being planned to be established at Jammu, Srinagar and other district headquarters while products from tribal cooperative SHGs will also be displayed at various TRIFED outlets across the country.

Technical agency deputed by TRIFED will work of capacity building of Tribal SHGs, conduct study of income generation activities (IGA), migration pattern, IGA during migration, type of IGA related to MFP, handlooms, handicrafts, food processing, etc. round the year which can be further developed/ aggregated through value addition and marketing. Mapping of MFP, handlooms, handicrafts, food processing, etc. produced by the tribals is also being undertaken by the agency.

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