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Nagaland’s broom grass set to ‘sweep’ through the nation

By Mirror Desk Updated: Sep 03, 2019 11:12 pm

Eastern Mirror Desk

Dimapur, Sep. 3: Nagaland will be rolling out the hill broom grass, which is one of the state’s most important forest produce, across markets pan India, through the government of India’s ‘Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan’ programme.

Van Dhan Vikas Karyakram (VDVK) is a constituent element under the mechanism for marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) through Minimum Support Price (MSP) and development of value chain of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA).

The training component of the scheme is proposed to be taken up in programme (Karyakram) mode to provide enhanced livelihood and income generation for tribal communities. VDVK is an initiative targeting livelihood generation for tribal communities by harnessing the wealth of the forest.

Under this programme, Nagaland has chosen to scale up the visibility of the hill broom grass and will be the first state to send in proposals for 20 VDVKs. The Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) has already sanctioned INR 3 crore for setting up the VDVKs on September 2. According to TRIFED, Nagaland is the first state to get approval under this programme.

TRIFED is aiming to create around 600 VDVKs across 307 districts in 27 states in order to enable forest produce- gatherers to add value and market their non-timber Minor Forest Produce.

Nagaland is also planning on marketing cardamom and honey extracted from rock bees through the VDVKs. The State Cooperative Marketing and Consumer’s Federation Ltd., also known as MARCOFED, has identified around 18 MFPs and will spearhead the creation of 13 VDVKS.

Anungla Imdong Phom, the joint director of Development of Under-Developed Areas (DUDA), said that there are plans to create livelihoods for 2,100 households through 70 self-help groups (SHG). DUDA will be steering the creation of seven VDVKs and through the SHGS, they plan on collecting and selling 300 metric tonnes of hill broom grass between November this year and May next year from produce gatherers of Mon, Longleng and Tuensang districts.

“Meghalaya in the Northeast has been the leader in selling the hill broom grass. In Nagaland, the first government engagement to market hill grass brooms started two years back when we signed an MoU with TRIFED and since then we have been scaling up engagement. Between November last year to May, we collected 65 metric tonnes of the grass through 13 SHGs drawn from the community,” Phom stated.

According to the managing director of TRIFED, Pravir Krishna, the Centre is aiming to set up 3000 VDVKs in 2019-20. Each of the community owned VDVK unit will be formed by bringing together 15-20 SHGs; with each SHG comprising of 15-20 members, he said.

Each VDVK will have around 300 members and will undertake procurement, primary value addition, marketing and selling of MFPs and value added MFPS.

(With inputs from Times of India)

By Mirror Desk Updated: Sep 03, 2019 11:12:19 pm