Gangtok, November 9: Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojana (PMVDY) was launched in Sikkim by the Hon’ble Union Minister for Tribal Affairs, Government of India in the presence of Hon’ble Chief Minister of Sikkim Shri Prem Singh Tamang on 1st October 2020 via video conferencing. It is one of the components of Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Minor Forest Produce (MFP) Scheme of Ministry of Tribal Affairs. It supports Minor Forest Produce (MFP) market development thereby ensuring fair returns to the tribal gatherers. It aims to lead MSP for MFP program through value addition by tribal SHGs to the MFP procured by them under MSP through the establishment of common use facilities for value addition to be called Van Dhan Kendras. The scheme is set up for tribal community owned MFP centric Multipurpose Van Dhan Kendras in tribal dominated area. Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) Ltd is the Central monitoring Agency for the Yojana under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
The State, in the first phase of the Yojana, will be setting up Van Dhan Vikas Kendras (VDVK). The Department of Science and Technology is the State Nodal Department for the Yojana. The Department of Cooperation is the State Project Implementing Agency (Department). The Sikkim Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Community Corporation (SABCO) Ltd are the Co-Implementing Agency. The same has been notified vide Notification NO 59/HOME/202, dated 30.09.2020.
80 VDVKs will be set up across the State and each VDVK will comprise of preferably women self help group or similar other groups like JFMC/Cooperative, and other MFP gatherers, group in the identified cluster area with the total of 300 members for each Van Dhan Vikas Kendra. The composition of SHGs shall comprise of 60% of the tribal members in the State as a whole and shall include members from other weaker section of the society as notified by State Government.
At the onset, the process of identifying 80 VDVKs have been completed and both Nodal as well as Implementing Departments are continuously taking input and guidance from Trifed on implementation of the Yojana. In connection to this an online Training programme on Data collection and uploading of details of SHG for the Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojana was held on 5/11/2020. The program was attended by officers of the State Nodal Department i.e. Department of Science and Technology and State Implementing Agency i.e. Cooperation Department and field supervisors and surveyors. It may be mentioned that 80 VDVKs so identified in a cluster has Multi Purpose Cooperative Society Ltd. of the respective GPU as field level mentoring organization. The 3 (three) hour long training was conducted by the Regional Office of TRIFED, Guwahati and the main resource person for the training was Senior Program Associate TRIFED.
In the session, departmental officials and field workers were given practical training on the use of VAN DHAN App for collection and uploading of beneficiaries’ details to enable process the data for the preparation and monitoring of the progress of the project. The field workers are tasked to visit households of beneficiaries for the collection of the required information and submit to the implementing agency over the next one month.