Chhattisgarh tops in Minor Forest Produce procurement
Raipur: Due to the abundance of Minor Forest Produce in Chhattisgarh and adequate arrangements for its purchase at support price by the state government, the lives of forest dwellers in the state are getting better.
The revolutionary decisions made by the Chhattisgarh government under the leadership of Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel to revive the lives of forest dwellers and minor forest produce collectors in the last two years, have now made minor forest produce a valuable product, which was earlier sold at a lesser price. The forest produce collectors of the state are deriving direct benefit out of it. This is the reason that Chhattisgarh has become the top state in the country in terms of collection of Minor Forest Produce.
Chhattisgarh has established a new record by purchasing 73 percent of the country's forest produce. Chhattisgarh is the only state in the country where 52 types of minor forest produce are being purchased at a support price. Due to this, the forest dwellers and forest produce collectors are getting direct benefits.
The Government of Chhattisgarh has taken an initiative in the direction of value addition of small forest produce along with it's purchase on support price. Vananchal project has been started in the state. The purpose of this project is to provide direct and indirect employment opportunities by establishing small forest produce based industries in forest area for value addition of small forest produce collected by forest dwellers.
Chhattisgarh Government has made provisions for giving many types of discounts and attractive packages, in the new industry policy of the state for the promotion of small forest produce based industries. Due to this, entrepreneurs are now getting attracted to set up forest produce based industries in forest areas. So far, 15 entrepreneurs have given application to the State Government with a proposal to invest Rs 75 crore for setting up various types of forest produce based industries in Vananchal areas
On the special initiative of Chief Minister Baghel, to provide the forest produce collectors, the right pay for their hard work, the purchase price of minor forest produce has been increased. The rate of tendu leaf collection has been increased from Rs 2500 per standard bag to Rs 4000 per standard bag. As a result, about 12 lakh tendu leaf collector families of the state have received additional wages of Rs 225 crore per year as well as additional incentive remuneration bonus of Rs 232 crore.
The support price of Mahua has been increased from Rs 17 to Rs 30 per kg, tamarind support price increased from Rs 25 per to Rs 36 per kg and Chironji kernels price has been increased from Rs 93 to Rs 126 per kg. Similarly, the purchase price for Rangini Lakh has been increased from Rs 130 per kg to Rs 220 per kg, Kusmi Lakh has been increased from Rs 200 per kg to Rs 300 per kg, honey has been increased from Rs 195 to Rs 225 per kg. These decisions have directly benefited 5 lakh rural families.