CHAPTER IV

 

SOCIO-ECONOMIC PROGRAMMES

 

4.1       One of the main objectives of TRIFED is to ensure higher earning and larger employment opportunities for the tribal population by formation of suitable economic schemes based on natural products.   TRIFED has initiated and implemented various socio-economic programmes, schemes and projects so as to ensure higher remuneration and larger employment opportunities to tribals.

A.        Grain Bank

4.2       In view of its resource constraints TRIFED does not provide any assistance to the Central and State level organisation in setting up and promoting common facility centres, training centres etc.  However, TRIFED is implementing the ‘Grain Bank Schemes’ in tribal villages as per the instructions and guidelines set by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs which is the nodal agency at the Centre.

4.3       The Grain Bank Scheme was launched by Government of India from the year 1996-97 with the aim and objectives of safeguarding against fall in nutritional standards of Scheduled Tribes living in remote areas and checking death of children due to starvation and malnutrition etc. in remote and backward tribal areas.  The scheme has been implemented in selected villages having over 50% scheduled tribal population in vulnerable  areas in 13 states identified by the Central Planning Committee.

4.4       One time grant of Rs. 600 per qtl. per family towards purchase of locally consumed food grains, setting  up of storage facilities of traditional and Rs. 4000 towards purchase of weights and measures is provided under the scheme.  The loan is repaid with nominal interest at the time of next harvest with the purpose of recouping the stock.

4.5       TRIFED has released an amount of Rs. 417.49 lakhs for establishment of 699 Grain Banks from 1996-97 to 1999-2000.  The statewise details of Grain Bank established/to be established are given below:-

 

Sl.No.

Name of State

No.of Grain Banks

Sl.No.

Name of State

No.of Grain Banks

1.

Andhra Pradesh

  40

8.

Rajasthan

  33

2.

West Bengal

  17

9.

Tamil Nadu

    2

3.

Bihar

  61

10.

Kerala

    5

4.

Gujarat

  81

11.

Maharashtra

  30

5.

Madhya Pradesh

159

12.

Uttar  Pradesh

   -

6.

Orissa

264

13.

Manipur

   -

7.

Tripura

    7

 

TOTAL

699

           

4.6              Statement of amount released  by TRIFED to State Government for number of Grain Banks to be established are given below:

Sl.NNo.

Name of State

Amount

Releas-ed by TRIFED 1996-97

Amount Released by TRIFED  1997-98

Amount Released

by

TRIFED

1998-99

Amount Released by TRIFED

1999-2000

 

1.

Andhra Pradesh

   12.16

   13.44

     -

      -

 

2.

West Bengal

   10.88

   -

     -

      -

 

3.

Bihar

   19.20

   19.84

     -

      -

 

4.

Gujarat

   17.92

   19.20

   14.72

      -

 

5.

Madhya Pradesh

   44.80

   56.96

     -

      -

 

6.

Orissa

   20.48

   22.40

     -

 100.00

 

7.

Tripura

     2.56

     1.92

     -

      -

 

8.

Rajasthan

   16.00

     1.49

     -

      -

 

9.

Tamil Nadu

     1.12

     -

     -

      -

 

10.

Kerala

   1.28

     1.92

    -

      -

 

11.

Maharashtra

   -

   19.20

    -

     -

 

12.

Uttar Pradesh

   -

     -

    -

     -

 

13.

Manipur

   -

     -

    -

     -

 

 

TOTAL

146.40

  156.37

14.72

 100.00

Rs. 417.49 Lakhs

 

*Amount released to TRIFED by Ministry for

Implementation of Grain Bank

Scheme

150.00

  180.00

300

  100

Rs. 730

lakhs

 

*Budget

allocation/plan outlay for this

Scheme

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.7              The aims and objectives of setting up the Grain Bank Scheme by the Ministry  of Tribal Affairs is to safeguard against fall in nutritional standards of Scheduled Tribes living in remote areas and checking death of children due to starvation and malnutrition.  However, it is seen that some remote tribal states like Meghalaya, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland do not find a mention in the list of states where the Grain Banks have been set up.  Moreover some states like Orissa and Madhya Pradesh have more Grain Banks than Bihar, Rajasthan and West Bengal and states like Manipur and Jharkhand do not have even one.  The Committee is at loss to understand the policy adopted for the establishment of the Grain Banks.   The Committee, therefore, recommend that TRIFED and the Ministry of Tribal Affairs must follow certain uniform policy for setting up the Grain Banks so that all states having sizeable tribal population may also get the benefits of the scheme.

4.8       The Committee note that the amount released by TRIFED to state governments for number of Grain Banks to be established is less than the amount released to TRIFED by the Ministry for implementation of Grain Bank Scheme.  In the year 1998-99 TRIFED spent only 14.72 lakhs out of the total amount of Rs. 300 lakhs released by the Ministry.  Again in 1999-2000 only Rs. 100 lakhs was released by the Ministry which TRIFED released it to the Orissa Government only.  This shows that TRIFED has a lackadaisical approach towards the implementation of the Grain Bank Scheme.  The Committee, therefore, recommend that in the overall interest of the tribals, TRIFED should make full utilisation of the amounts released by the Ministry.  The Committee are distressed to note that despite TRIFED having released Rs. 100 lakh to the Orissa Government under the Grain Bank Schemes.  The reports of starvation deaths are still pouring in from the remote and tribals areas of the state.  The Committee feel that there is no proper implementation of the scheme.  The Committee recommend that TRIFED should ensure proper implementation of the Grain Bank Scheme.

 

B.        MSP

 

4.9       One of the main objectives of TRIFED is  payment of remunerative price to tribal producers to commensurate with their hard labour.  However, collection and marketing of Minor Forest Products being a state subject, the State Government does the fixation of procurement price of Minor Forest Produce.  For example in states like Orissa  and Bihar the prices are fixed by State Level Apex Committee.  In Madhya Pradesh prices for selected commodities eg. tendu  leaves, myrobalan etc. are done by the State Level Apex Committee while the rate of other MFPs eg. mango kernel, mahua seed, karanj seed etc. are decided by the district level committee.  In some cases the states also adopt the fixation  of the price on the basis of the highest tender bid received for a commodity (eg. Sal seed in case of Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Bihar).  As such price varies from state to state or area to area within the same state depending upon the state policy.

4.10     Price fluctuation is a subject matter of demand and supply and to a large extent is beyond any check.  However, TRIFED endeavours that by its presence and continued procurement, the prices do not fall substantially and must be either stagnant or rise.  TRIFED also ensures that its procurement operations, further helps tribals in getting such market related prices, without any exploitation by a middlemen etc.

4.11     A scheme for Minimum Support Price for MFPs and TBOs submitted by TRIFED is already under consideration of Ministry of Tribal Affairs.  By Minimum Support Price (MSP) we mean the price, which is notified by Directorate of Economics and Statistic (FE Branch), Deptt. of Agriculture and Cooperation under the Ministry of  Agriculture, Government of India for every Khariff and Rabi season, for the main agricultural products like pulses, oil seeds, paddy, wheat, cotton, coarse grains etc. MSP normally cover cost of inputs like seed, manure, and other input costs.  In case of MFPs, which is collected by the tribals from the forest floor, it would cover their labour compensation for management and entrepreneurial inputs, wastage and risk run due to exposure to hazards.

 

C.        Market promotion

 

4.12     TRIFED has undertaken the following publicity campaigns so as to improve facilities for marketing of tribal produces. TRIFED has been participating in the trade fair organized by ITPO since 1990. During these fairs TRIFED displays the products being procured by it. TRIFED has also organised exhibition cum sale of handicrafts for each state. The exhitition cum sale counter of TRIFED was adjudged as the 2nd best stall during the fair organized by ITPO during June, 2000. TRIFED has also organised Exhibition at Coimbatore, and participated at Handicrafts Exhibition organised by CBMD, CII, Mysore and BAIF, Pune etc.

4.13     TRIFED has organised a state level seminar at Bhubaneshwar during the year 2000. It also had organised workshop at Bastar, Kanker and Dantewara. Similarly, TRIFED has orgainised workshop to develop the skills of tribals through BHASA Research Institutions in Gujarat. The tribal artisans were awarded by TRIFED for their skills in M.P.

4.14     In addition TRIFED also takes out Leaflets, Brochures, Pamphlets, Newsletters for promoting the marketing of its products. Besides, the rates are also announced by loudspeakers, displayed through banners, radio, notice board of cooperative societies etc. Since, August 1999 TRIFED has launched its web – site wherein details about TRIFED, its activities, the products being marketed/tendered for sale by TRIFED are displayed. In order to facilitate the customer.  TRIFED has also made promotion literature in regional languages for distribution. In addition TRIFED also published education information about its activities, rate paid by it to collectors/growers and its products. TRIFED also invited experts so as to solicit their opinion and suggestions for further development of tribal produces.

4.15     The Committee find that TRIFED has done extensive jobs on market promotion of the tribal products by participating in trade fairs, organising seminars and workshops and undertake public campaign soliciting expert opinion and suggestions, launching its own websites and instituting awards for skilled tribal artisans. The Committee recommend that more training in scientific and technical skill may be given to tribal artisans and Craftsman for further development of the products. The Committee also recommend that more awards and incentives should be instituted for promoting artistic skills of the tribals for producing arts & crafts of the finest quality.

 

D.        Financial support

 

4.16     Apart from procurement and marketing of Tribal products and investments in construction of godowns, ware houses, cold storages etc. TRIFED has extended financial support to the following socio-economic schemes in the predominantly tribal area.

1.         Gum Karaya Plantations in three tribal districts of Andhra pradesh namely Vizag, Khammam and Adilabad.

2.         Gum Karaya Plantations and training to tribals in its extraction, storage and processing in various talukas such as Chotta Udepur, Kanvet, Pavijetpur in Baroda District through BHASA Research and Publication Centre (Baroda) Gujarat.        

3.         Gum Karaya Plantations and training to tribals in its extraction storage and processing at Valsad district through GSFDC.

4.         Training on scientific method of tapping of Gum Karaya to the tribals of Andhra Pradesh through GCC.

5.         Training on Lac Development and Brood Lac Distribution through Indian Lac Research Institutes Ranchi.

6.                  Post harvesting technique for hill brooms.

4.17     TRIFED has been procuring commodities through its members and the number of the members who have been provided advance/funds for procurement are GCC (AP); TDCC Orissa; West Bengal (TDCC); MP MFP Federation, Bhopal; BISCOLAMF/BSTDCC, Ranchi; GSFDC, Vadodara; MSSTDCC, Nasik; TAMCS, Tripura; HPSFCL, Shimla; MP Oil field, Bhopal; TANFED, Tamil Nadu and BSFDC, Patna. The total number work out to 13. In addition to this, TRIFED has engaged 6 LAMPS in Tamil Nadu, MARKFED, LAMP Federation and KAPDEC in Karnataka, 20 Cooperative Societies in M.P., 4 Cooperative Societies in Orissa, AP OILFIELD in A.P., 40 Cooperative Societies in Rajasthan, 5 Cooperative Societies in Bihar and 1000 Van dhan Samities in Chattisgarh over the years.  These societies have been advanced funds against procurement.

4.18     The Committee note that TRIFED has extended financial support to tribals for Gum Karaya plantations and scientific methods of tapping and processing, training on lac development and distribution and post harvesting technique for hill brooms. TRIFED has also provided funds/advances for procurement to many of its business counter parts or its business associates who are largely working for the welfare of the tribals. However the Committee recommend that the scope of investment in plantations should be widened by investing in plantations of tea, coffee, spices, medicinal herbs/plants, rubber and other commercial crops in tribal areas as it will provide employment opportunities and income to the poor tribals. TRIFED should take necessary steps in surveying the tribal areas all over India so as to determine which areas are suitable for a particular plant/seed cultivation/plantation within a period of one year.

4.19     The Committee also recommend that since TRIFED is working closely with the tribals it should take the lead in development and growth of entrepreneurship amongst the tribals. The Committee recommend that TRIFED should maintain close contact with the right agencies/institutions like NSFDC, NABARD etc. who could help to provide necessary infrastructure, monetary and expertise assistance for starting small scale and cottage industries in tribal areas.

 

E.         Training – Cum – Production Centres

 

4.20     As per the review taken by the Planning Commission on the working of TRIFED on 10.03.2000 it was decided that NSFDC would be given instructions to earmark some funds for TRIFED for taking up training programmes related to collection, preservation, processing and marketing of selected MFP and Surplus Agriculture Produce items.

4.21     Attempts have been made by TRIFED to introduce training on sustainable methods of harvesting and cultivation of Minor Forest Produce and to educate and restrain tribals from using destructive methods of tapping/harvesting of Minor Forest Produce. The objective of such training programme is also as much important to improve the quality of the products grown and collected by the tribals. It is also aimed to serve and conserve the ecological balance for the forest where tribals reside and to avoid the resultant patterns that could result if destructive process of tapping and harvesting are undertaken.

4.22     To enable the tribal people to develop skills and entrepreneurship, TRIFED has organised and conducted several training programmes in different tribal areas of the country. Over 50,000/- tribal people, a majority of them women have benefited from these training programmes. In Bastar Region alone, TRIFED has trained approximately 50,000/- tribals on Deseeding/defibring of tamarind, conversion of Hill grass into brooms and value addition of Mahua flower. Towards more dissemination of knowledge about processing and Scientific Procurement of MFPs and SAPs from tribal people and to improve its expertise in marketing the products, TRIFED has worked out collaborative arrangements with the leading and national level institutions such as Indian Lac Research Institute, Ranchi, functioning under CSIR; Central Food Technology Research Institute, Mysore; Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow, BHASA Research Institute in Gujarat and with reputed NGOs of the country.

4.23     The major training programmes conducted by TRIFED for the tribal people are:

i)                    Non-destructive training methods on Lac development and growing by distributing stic lac and brood lac to tribal growers in new areas.

ii)                   Training on plantations and scientific and non-destructive methods of tapping, storage and process of Gum Karaya.

iii)                 Training on deseeding/de-fibring and making of tamarind bricks.

iv)                 Training on post harvest management of Ginger and other horticulture produce and processing of Hill grass into Brooms especially in North Eastern states as well as in the state of Tamil Nadu and Orissa.

v)                  Training on scientific collection and decortication of Neem seed & Mango Kernel and training on collection and storage of Neem seed.

vi)                 Training of post harvest management of Myrobalan.

vii)               Training of scientific collection, process and storage of Tree – Borne Oilseeds.

viii)              Training on Methods of Silk production from cocoons, scientific preservation of Mahua flower and also in packaging of Mahua flower and Tamarind.

4.24     Besides, for tribal farmers who are also engaged in making tribal handicrafts TRIFED has also introduced designers in improving handicraft products through research institutions like BHASHA.

4.25     The Committee note that TRIFED has imparted training to tribals relating to collection, preservation, processing and marketing of selected MFP and Surplus Agriculture Produce items. Thousands of tribals especially women have benefited from these trainings. As these trainings evoked positive response from the tribals, the Committee felt that more such training programmes including skill training on arts and handicrafts may be organised and conducted in different parts of the tribal areas based on the needs, requirements and availability of products. These trainings may be conducted free of cost and stipends may be provided wherever felt necessary as an incentive for such trainings. The Committee also recommend that TRIFED may seek the help of NSFDC and other voluntary organisations working for the Welfare of tribals to achieve these objectives.