Chhattisgarh purchased highest value of minor forest produce in country amid lockdown
Chhattisgarh government has announced that it has topped the country in the purchase of minor forest produces (MFP) worth over Rs 18.63 crore from the state’s forest dwellers and tribal villagers amid the ongoing nationwide lockdown restrictions to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak.
The government has procured the MFP under the minimum support price (MSP) scheme.
The government officials quoted the data, released by the Central government-run Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED), to highlight that Chhattisgarh’s purchase has been the highest in the country to alleviate the plight of the state’s poor forest dwellers and tribal villagers, who are dependent on the MFP for their livelihood.
“Besides Chhattisgarh, only two other states, Jharkhand and Odisha, have started procurement of minor forest produces. According to the TRIFED data, MFP worth Rs 18.67 crore has been purchased in the country so far, out of which MFP worth Rs 18.63 crore has been purchased by Chhattisgarh alone,” a state government press release stated.
Jharkhand and Odisha have purchased MFP worth Rs 3.39 lakh and Rs 5,000, respectively, it added.
The officials said the MFP procurement has been on an upswing in the state.
“The latest data of the state government has shown that 72,727 quintals of minor forest produces worth about Rs 21 crore have been bought from 1,32, 272 collectors in Chhattisgarh this season. This has brought a lot of relief to forest dwellers and tribal villagers because of the state government’s MSP scheme and cash payment process amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The employment opportunities for forest produce collectors have also increased due to government support,” the release stated.
The erstwhile Raman Singh-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state had made seven MFP purchases between 2015 and 2018, but the ruling Bhupesh Baghel-led Congress government has increased the frequency to 23, the officials added.