Govt to launch e-mart for artisans, digital monitoring for ‘Van Dhan start-ups’ | India News

NEW DELHI: With the pandemic leaving many without work, the government is all set to launch an e-marketplace by July end to host around 5000 tribal artisans to begin with. The government sees this e-mart as a way to create an independent online space of artisans to put out their products that have been wasting away in the absence of buyers.
Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation, managing director, Pravir Krishna told TOI that they will start with about 5000 artisans and the target is to eventually scale up to connect 5 lakh tribals through this portal to the buyers directly.
Krishna also shared that the government is taking the digital route to ensure real-time tracking of the scheme involving value addition to forest produce at the Van Dhan Vikas Kendras at the village level. These are being classified as start-up tribal enterprises.
On Monday, the government commissioned on trial a website that will give all details, statistics and real-time information of the VDVKs and also enable GPS linkages to connect those executing the activities in the villages to those monitoring the scheme in the states and in the central government. After the trial run till June 30, a formal launch is expected.
Krishna informed that 1205 Van Dhan start-ups have been established so far to provide employment opportunities to 3.6 lakh tribal gatherers and 18000 Self-help groups in 22 States. “The aim of the Start-ups scheme is to treble the coverage to 10 lakh tribal gatherers through the Covid-19 relief plan of the ministry of tribal affairs,” he added.
Krishna explained that Rs.15 lakhs from the central government has been provided to each of these VDVKs centres. So far 25% -30% of this grant has been spent by the VDVKs on activities such as the purchase of raw materials, labour costs etc.
He shared that in the case of Nagaland, approximately 3.5 crores worth of sales of products have already happened under the scheme. Krishna mentioned that 2000 products have been identified throughout the country that have marketing potential He cited examples like wild honey, hill broom grass sticks, donna pattal, coffee, bay leaf, bel pulp among others.
The Manipur with its 77 Van Dhan Kendras is cited as a case study as it has adopted food safety and hygiene standards at all its centres to enable standardisation.

[Source :Times of India]


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