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Nine new items added to MSP for minor forest produce scheme

Topics Covered:

  1. Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.

 

Nine new items added to MSP for minor forest produce scheme

 

What to study?

  • For Prelims: MSP for MFP scheme, items covered.
  • For Mains: Significance of the scheme, MFP and its significance for tribes.

 

Context: The Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) has added nine minor forest produce (MFP) items to its minimum support price (MSP) for MFP scheme. The total number of MFPs covered under the list is 49.

The nine new items are: Bakul (dried bark), Kutaj (dried bark), Noni/Aal (dried fiuits), Sonapatha/Syonak pods, Chanothi seeds, Kalihari (dried tubers), Makoi (dried fiuits), Apang plant and Sugandhrnantri roots/tubers.

 

About MSP for MFP scheme:

The MSP for MFP scheme was started by the Centre in 2013 to ensure fair and remunerative prices to MFP gatherers. The total outlay for the scheme is Rs 967 crore as Centre’s share for the planned period (2013-14 to 2016-17).

  • The scheme is designed as a social safety net for improvement of livelihood of MFP gatherers by providing them fair price for the MFPs they collect.
  • The scheme has been started with the objective of providing fair price to MFP gatherers, enhance their income level and ensure sustainable harvesting of MFPs. The MSP scheme seeks assurance of buying at a particular price, primary processing, storage, transportation etc while ensuring sustainability of the resource base.

 

Implementation of the scheme:

Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India is the Nodal Ministry for implementation of the scheme which will announce Minimum Support Price (MSP) for the selected MFPs with the technical support from TRIFED.

  • TRIFED will act as the Central Nodal Agency for implementation and monitoring of the scheme through State level implementing agencies.
  • State designated agencies will undertake procurement of notified MFPs directly from MFP gatherers (individual or collectives) at haats notified procurement centers at grass root level at prefixed Minimum Support Price and ensure full & timely on the spot payment to MFP gatherers.

 

Significance of MFP:

  1. Minor Forest Produce (MFP) is a major source of livelihood for tribals who belong to the poorest of the poor section of society. The importance of MFPs for this section of the society can be gauged from the fact that majority of 100 million tribals depend on MFPs for food, fodder, shelter, medicines and cash income.
  2. It provides them critical subsistence during the lean seasons, particularly for primitive tribal groups such as hunter gatherers, and the landless. Tribals derive 20-40% of their annual income from MFP on which they spend major portion of their time.
  3. This activity has strong linkage to women’s financial empowerment as most of the MFPs are collected and used / sold by women. MFP sector has the potential to create about 10 million workdays jobs annually in the country.

 

Sources: down to earth.