TRIFED under Ministry of Tribal Affairs has been exploring convergences and partnerships with like-minded organisations to create synergies together with the main aim of furthering tribal empowerment and improving their livelihoods. In this regard TRIFED has started tying up with government departments and other like-minded organisations. One of the departments with whom TRIFED has aligned with is Minister of Food Processing, which is implementing the Prime Minister Formalisation of Micro food processing Enterprises (PM-FME) Scheme, which is a landmark initiative under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan to support micro-level food entrepreneurs, FPOs, SHGs and co-operatives. An important component of this scheme is the tribal sub-plan.
communique to define the Convergence mechanism in implementation of this scheme was signed between Shri Deepak Khandekar, Secretary Minister of Tribal Affairs and Smt. Pushpa Subrahmanyam, Secretary, Ministry of Food Processing in the presence of Shri Arjun Munda, Minister of Tribal Affairs and Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, Minister of Agriculture and Food Processing, Shri Thawar Chand Gehlot, Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, RameswarTeli, MoS, MoFPI and Shri Pravir Krishna, Managing Director, TRIFED on December 18, 2020.
Other than the communique an MOU was also signed between TRIFED and MoFPI to detail the key areas of collaboration. It has been agreed that TRIFED, as the nodal agency working for tribal upliftment would develop a new range of tribal food products, TriFood.
With the necessary funding under the PM-FME Scheme of MoFPI, the TriFood range of tribal food products would be developed, branded, and packaged by TRIFED. It has also been agreed that the SHGs working under the Van DhanYojana would be provided support under the PM-FME Scheme including for handholding, training, capital investment, and working capital. TRIFED will identify the eligible SHGs and their members and “Van DhanYojana” groups and their members engaged in food products and create a list with necessary details on their level of operations, type of product, marketing channels, means of production, production facilities, training, etc. and share them with State Government and MoFPI.
As a part of capacity building, it has been decided that MoFPI under PMFME scheme would also provide necessary funds to TRIFED to undertake training, capacity building of tribals engaged in food processing. In addition, funds would be provided to TRIFED for product development and improved packaging for tribal food products.
TRIFED will also provide handholding support to Tribal SHGs and Van Dhan SHG groups and their members in preparation of DPRs, application process, getting necessary technical training, etc. so as to enable them to benefit from various provisions under PMFME scheme including for capital investment.
As a part of taking tribal welfare and development to the next logical phase, other convergences with various Ministries and Departments and expert institutions such as Ministry of Rural Development, Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises, DMF, ICAR Ministry of AYUSH are being planned all with the aim of improving sustainable livelihoods and income opportunities for these tribals.
With the successful implementation of this collaboration and many more upcoming convergences, TRIFED hopes to effect a complete transformation of tribal lives and livelihoods across the country.