Latest NorthEast India News | Assam: Cabinet Minister Ranoj Pegu distributes supporting funds to beneficiaries of Van Dhan Vikas Kendra Clusters

To boost the economic prospects of tribal communities, Dr. Ranoj Pegu, Hon’ble Minister of Education (Higher, Secondary & Elementary), Welfare of Plain Tribes and Backward Classes (non-BTC), Government of Assam, disbursed a revolving fund of Rupees 1.63 Cr and a supporting fund of Rupees 18 Lakhs to Eighty-Four Van Dhan Vikas Kendra Clusters (VDVKCs) under the Prime Minister Janjatiya Vikas Mission (PMJVM). The event took place at the Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship (IIE), Guwahati and witnessed the presence of esteemed dignitaries and beneficiaries.

In a glittering ceremony, attended by Shri Mukesh Ch Sahu, Principal Secretary, Government of Assam, Department of Tribal Affairs (Plain), Shri Pamthing Keishing, Deputy Manager, TRIFED Regional Office, and Dr. Lalit Sharma, Director IIE, the funds were distributed, marking a significant step towards the socio-economic upliftment of forest dwellers engaged in collecting and processing natural forest produce.

Alongside the fund distribution, an essential Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was inked between Tezpur University and IIE, paving the way for technological know-how transfer for the production of a novel product—Pomelo Marmalade, set to be marketed under the TRISSAM brand. The event also witnessed the launch of the Millets range of products and the unveiling of a revamped website with an e-commerce platform.

Addressing the gathering, Dr. Ranoj Pegu highlighted the pivotal role of the Prime Minister Janjatiya Vikas Mission (PMJVM) in empowering forest dwellers to utilize the 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 Stext 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).