Imphal: Union Minister of Tribal Affairs, Arjun Munda, launched the scheme “Marketing and Logistics Development for Promotion of Tribal Products from the North-Eastern Region (PTP-NER)” in the presence of Manipur Chief Minister, N. Biren Singh, at a solemn function held at the Auditorium of the Manipur State Film Development Society Tuesday.
The scheme aims to strengthen livelihood opportunities for tribal artisans through increased efficiency in the procurement, logistics, and marketing of tribal products from North Eastern states.
The launching programme was also attended by Forest, Environment, and Climate Change Minister, Th. Biswajit Singh; Tribal Affairs and Hills Minister, Letpao Haokip; Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of Meghalaya, Dr. M. Ampareen Lyngdoh; Chairman, TRIFED, Ramsinh Rathwa; Chief Secretary, Government of Manipur; Dr. Rajesh Kumar, officials of the Tribal Affairs Ministry, Government of India; Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation (TRIFED); and Senior Officials of the Government of Manipur, among others.
Addressing the gathering, Union Minister of Tribal Affairs Arjun Munda expressed gratitude to Chief Minister N. Biren Singh for hosting the launch of such an important scheme for tribal peoples. He continued that the Union Government, under the supervision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had been taking up initiatives for empowerment, the creation of employment opportunities, and upgrading the livelihood of tribal people residing across the country. With such an objective, the PTP-NER scheme has been launched today for the promotion of tribal products from the Northeast region, he added.
Arjun Munda informed that the PTP-NER scheme is fully funded under the Central Sector Scheme of the Government of India, and a budget of around Rs. 143 crore has been allocated towards this scheme for implementation. He further informed that the scheme will apply to the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim.
The Union Minister continued that the Prime Minister, considering the importance of the Northeast region in the development of the country, had earlier launched the “One District, One Product” scheme to make a district known for its product. The scheme launched today will facilitate the linkage of tribal products with new markets, and provide logistic and marketing strategy support to promote them at the national and global level, he added. He also appreciated the concerted efforts of the officials of the Union Tribal Affairs Ministry and TRIFED’s successful implementation of the initiatives taken for the welfare of tribal people.
Chief Minister N. Biren Singh, while delivering his speech, expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Minister of Tribal Affairs Arjun Munda for introducing such an important scheme. He also appreciated the vision of the Prime Minister and the initiatives taken for the welfare of the people of the northeastern states. Since he became the Prime Minister of the Country in 2014, the scenario of the Northeast states has totally changed, particularly in the development and the law and order, he added.
The Chief Minister recalled that TRIFED was launched in the state in 2019. At that time, there were only around 30 self-help groups (SHGs) comprising around 450 members. However, the number is now about to reach around 50,000 SHG members, he added.
Speaking on the quality and taste of products produced in the state, he informed the union minister that outlets for selling products from Manipur had been opened in some big cities across the country. He continued that marketing and logistical development for the promotion of tribal products is the need of the hour, stressing the need for value addition, quality, and hygienic packaging for capturing markets outside the state.
Stating that earlier the SHGs working in the interior parts of hill districts did not have work sheds and proper rooms to dry fruits, the state government decided to earmark an amount of around Rs. 26.6 crores under the RIDF and construct work sheds to facilitate them.
He also reiterated the vision of the Prime Minister to provide a quality life to the people, adding that the State Government had also launched the “One Family, One Livelihood” scheme, under which anyone from a family with no source of livelihood can apply for a loan of Rs. 10 lahks with a 30 per cent grant. He added that the government would consider including SHGs in TRIFED so that they could also avail the benefits of the scheme to help increase their income generation.
Before the start of the launching programme, Arjun Munda, along with N. Biren Singh and others, visited the stalls set up by Van Dhan Vikas Kendras (VDVK) under different divisions and interacted with tribal artisans.
During the programme, 3 Van Dhan products from different VDVKs, including cinnamon from Kamjong, black rice from Ukhrul, and dry bamboo shoots from Noney, were also launched.