TRIFED launches `Trifood' projects in Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh

Union minister for tribal affairs Arjun Munda today e-launched two ‘Trifood projects’ - tertiary processing centres for minor forest produce of TRIFED -  to be located in Raigad, Maharashtra and Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh.

Being implemented by TRIFED, under the ministry of tribal affairs in association with the ministry of food processing (MoFPI), Trifood aims to enhance the income of tribals through better utilisation of and value addition to the minor forest produce (MFPs) collected by the tribal forest gatherers. To achieve this, as a start, two processing units for Minor Forest Produce will be set up.
The unit in Raigad, Maharashtra that will be used for value addition to mahua, amla, custard apple and jamun and will produce mahua drink, amla juice, candy, jamun  juice and custard apple pulp.
The multi-commodity processing centre in Jagdalpur, Chhattisgarh will be used for the processing of commodities like mahua, amla, honey, cashew, tamarind, ginger, garlic and other fruits and vegetables. These would be made into mahua drink, amla juice, candy, pure honey, ginger-garlic paste and fruit and vegetable pulp.
Lauding the efforts of those involved in reviving the flagging economic condition of the tribal food gatherers Arjun Munda called for holistic development of tribal people based on the biodiversity of tribal life that should be preserved and enhanced. He said that this project will help in promoting tribal entrepreneurship. He lauded TRIFED’s efforts in particular in this project, which not only ensures that this bio-diversity is maintained but also forges backward and forward linkages, while promoting the development of the tribals. 
TRIFED, as the nodal agency for the upliftment of the tribals, has been putting in place several initiatives to alleviate their distress in these unprecedented times. He encouraged the officials working on this ambitious initiative on ground so that this can be replicated across the country. He opined that DMs and DFOs can play a very important role in tribal development.
The ‘mechanism for marketing of minor forest produce through minimum support price (MSP) and development of value chain for MFP, in particular, has emerged as a beacon of change in these unprecedented times and has positively impacted the tribal ecosystem. 
Implemented by TRIFED in association with state government agencies across 21 states, the scheme has injected more than Rs3,000 crore directly in the tribal economy so far. In May this year, the government announced a hike in the minimum support prices of MFPs by up to 90 per cent and the inclusion of 23 new items in the MFP list.
This flagship scheme of the ministry of tribal affairs, which draws its strength from The Forest Rights Act of 2005, aims at providing remunerative and fair prices to tribal gatherers of forest produces.
The Van Dhan Vikas Kendras/ tribal start-ups, also a component of the scheme, further complements MSP as it has emerged as a source of employment generation for tribal gatherers and forest dwellers and the home-bound tribal artisans. A total of 1,205 tribal enterprises spread across 18,500 SHGs have been established to provide employment opportunities to 3.6 lakh tribal gatherers and 18,000 self-help groups in 22 states. The crux of the programme is that it ensures that the proceeds from the sales of these value-added products go to the tribals directly.
The Trifood project aims to converge both the components in its desired merits. In association with MoFPI, the units that will be set up under the scheme for creation of backward and forward linkages under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana, will procure the raw material from the Van Dhan Kendras in the state. The fully processed products will be sold across the country in Tribes India outlets, and franchisee stores. TRIFED also plans to identify and train tribal entrepreneurs who can also sell the products.
With systems and processes being put in place to make the procurement of MFPs and their processing and value addition a round-the-year process, TRIFED is working towards the successful implementation of the Trifood project and other upcoming ones, so that tribal lives and livelihoods can be transformed and incomes secured.