GUWAHATI, Nov 20: Ranoj Pegu, the minister of education (Higher, Secondary & Elementary), Welfare of Plain Tribes and Backward Classes (non-BTC), Government of Assam, distributed a revolving fund of Rs 1.63 cr and a supporting fund of Rs 18 lakh to eighty-four Van Dhan Vikas Kendra Clusters (VDVKCs) under the Prime Minister Janjatiya Vikas Mission (PMJVM).
The ceremony, held at the Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship (IIE), Guwahati, aimed to boost the economic prospects of tribal communities engaged in collecting and processing natural forest produce.
The event witnessed the presence of dignitaries such as Mukesh Ch Sahu, principal secretary, government of Assam, Department of Tribal Affairs (Plain), Pamthing Keishing, deputy manager, TRIFED Regional Office, and Dr. Lalit Sharma, Director IIE. The funds distribution marked a significant step toward the socio-economic upliftment of forest dwellers.
In addition to the fund distribution, a crucial Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Tezpur University and IIE, facilitating technological know-how transfer for the production of a novel product—Pomelo Marmalade, set to be marketed under the TRISSAM brand. The event also featured the launch of the Millets range of products and the unveiling of a revamped trissam.com website with an e-commerce platform.
Addressing the gathering, Ranoj Pegu emphasized the pivotal role of the Prime Minister Janjatiya Vikas Mission (PMJVM) in empowering forest dwellers to utilize funds for procuring raw materials and operational expenses, thereby producing high-quality goods with a national market reach.
Furthermore, three outstanding Van Dhan Vikas Kendras were felicitated by the minister, acknowledging their exceptional performance. Dr. Lalit Sharma, Director of IIE, provided a comprehensive overview of the PMJVM scheme and Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Minor Forest Produce (MFP) scheme, emphasizing IIE’s commitment to implementing these initiatives for the benefit of tribal women beneficiaries.
IIE, as the Resource Agency under the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, plays a pivotal role in executing the PMJVM scheme and MSP for MFP Scheme. This flagship program by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, government of India, aims to enhance the livelihoods and socio-economic status of tribal communities through the value addition of Minor Forest Produces (MFPs).