With harvest season at its peak in many regions, the move by the tribal affairs ministry is seen as an attempt to ensure that tribal gatherers are able to get a fair price for their produce. Around 5.5 crore tribals are dependent for survivial on forest produce,
While the average increase in MSP for MFP for most of the 46 items falls between 15% to 20% the highest increase is that of 90.5% in case of Giloe where the price has been increased from Rs 21 to Rs 40 per kg. The lowest increase in price is 6.1% in case of Kalmegha (Rs 33 to Rs 35). Besides this there is no increase in prices per kilogram of three MFPs- sal seeds (Rs 20), Myrobalan (Rs 15) and Baheda (Rs 17).
However, this hike in MSP will only benefit the tribals if the states put in place a well – coordinated procurement system. Tribal Marketing and Cooperative Federation (TRIFED) managing director Pravir Krishan said that focus is now on bolstering the procurement from the haat bazaars with nodal agencies in 22 states. The MSP for MFP was last revised by the ministry of tribal affairs in December 2018 and notified in January 2019. Normally the price committee looks at revision of MSP every three years.
In a statement the ministry has said that guidelines have been relaxed to effect this revision to provide the much needed support to tribal MFP gatherers “in view of the exceptional and very difficult circumstances currently prevailing in the country on account of Covid-19 pandemic”.
There has been an increase of 76.5% (Rs 17 to Rs 30 per kg) in case of dried mahua flowers followed by Hill Broom grass at 66.7% (Rs 30 to Rs 50) and Rangeeni Lac at 53.8% (Rs 130 to Rs 200). There are two items that have seen an increase between 30% to 35% and these include Kusumi lac (Rs 203 to Rs 275) and jamum dried seeds (Rs 36 to Rs 47) respectively.
Some popular items that have seen an increase in the range of 15% -16% include Tamarind with seeds (Rs 31 to Rs 36), wild honey (Rs 195 to Rs 225), Guggul (Rs 700 to Rs 812), mahua seed (Rs 25 to Rs 29), sal leaves (Rs 30 to Rs 35), dried Amla pulp (Rs 45 to Rs 52) and dried soap nuts (Rs 12 to Rs 14).
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