TRIFED signs MoU with IIT Delhi under govt’s ‘Unnat Bharat Abhiyan’


The Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) has entered into a partnership with IIT Delhi under the HRD Ministry’s flagship ‘Unnat Bharat Abhiyan’ (UBA) to boost livelihood opportunities and income generation for tribal communities.

The UBA connects higher education institutions with villages for the economic and social betterment of rural communities.

To cement and formalise this partnership, a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between TRIFED, IIT Delhi and Vijnana Bharati, a swadeshi science movement, on Friday, a statement said.

TRIFED functions under the Tribal Affairs Ministry.

Under TRIFED’s ‘Van Dhan’ programme, tribal entrepreneurs will now be able to get access to the expertise of the entire network of more than 2,600 academic and research institutions under the UBA, it said.

Together with IIT Delhi, which is the National Coordinating Institute (NCI) for the UBA, TRIFED envisages promoting tribal livelihoods and income-generating programmes.

In particular, this partnership can help enhance livelihoods through Van Dhan Vikas Kendras established under the ‘Van Dhan Yojana’, it said.

Pravir Krishna, managing director of TRIFED, said, “It is important to ensure round the year income-earning opportunities for tribals by engaging them in a variety of economic activities ranging from agriculture, horticulture, floriculture, medicinal and aromatic plants etc, going beyond minor forest produces (MFPs).” “The synergies with institutions of national importance like IIT Delhi will be crucial in our mission to serve the tribal cause, as we can leverage the huge network of academic and research institutions across the country under the ‘Unnat Bharat Abhiyan’,” he said.

With the partnership with IIT Delhi and ‘Unnat Bharat Abhiyan’, these tribal forest dwellers engaged in MFPs will get exposure to newer processing technologies, product innovation, mentorship, transformational digital systems and handholding, he said.

The MoU opens gates for the best brains in the country to attend to the problems of sustainable tribal livelihoods, the statement said.

V Ramgopal Rao, director of IIT, Delhi said the partnership is an opportunity for brilliant minds to be presented with the right set of real problems that they can help address.

The IIT Delhi-TRIFED partnership will also benefit from the expertise and experience of Vijnana Bharati (VIBHA), the statement said.

VIBHA will map and reach out to various stakeholders for convergence with the focus to strengthen the ‘Van Dhan Yojana’ through its local chapters. It will help in gathering and passing critical information on needs and possible intervention to TRIFED, UBA and tribal communities, it said.

TRIFED is implementing the ‘Van Dhan Yojana’, a programme for value addition, branding and marketing of MFPs by establishing Van Dhan Kendras of around 300 tribal members each across the country to facilitate creation of sustainable livelihoods for the forest-based tribal gatherers.

In a typical Van Dhan Kendra, the tribal beneficiaries are expected to create an enterprise, which would be involved in all related aspects from collection of forest produce, training of tribal beneficiaries, value-addition and processing, and packaging.

So far, 1,205 tribal enterprises have been established to provide employment opportunities to 3.6 lakh tribal gatherers and 18,000 self-help groups in 22 states.



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