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Chhattisgarh registers largest participation in forest produce collection

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Raipur (Chhattisgarh) [India], May 26 (ANI): Chhattisgarh has registered maximum participation in forest produce collection amid the coronavirus-induced lockdown.
At a time when forest-based economic activities were stalled throughout the country, Chhattisgarh registered a good number of achievements during this period under the leadership of Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel.
“On the same note, the revenue of forest dwellers is expected to be about Rs 2,500 crore. According to the data received from TRIFED, one lakh quintal forest produce has been collected in the state so far, for which collectors have been paid about Rs 30.20 crore,” an official statement read.
Due to the closure of factories in the lockdown, the issue of unemployment has deepened in the country, while in Chhattisgarh, forest dwellers are getting employment in gathering forest produce and providing forest cover in this crisis, due to which wheels of the economy is running smoothly, it said.
“The new economic strategy of Chhattisgarh government involves bringing a big change in the life of this large population of forest dwellers through forest produce. The state collects 15 lakh standard sacks of tendu leaves every year. With this, 12.65 lakh collector families are getting employment. The value of tendu patta has been increased to Rs 4,000 per standard bag by the state government, giving them a direct benefit of Rs 649 crore,” the statement read.
In Chhattisgarh, the state government has increased the number of forest products purchased through the minimum support price mechanism from Rs 7 to 25 now.
“A total of Rs 930 crore of forest produce brought under the purview of the scheme is traded in the state. The forest produce is being procured through 866 hot markets. 10 lakh man-days of employment are being created in the state through wood art development, lac bangles manufacturing, dona-pattal making, drug processing, honey processing, bell metal, terracotta handicrafts work etc,” the statement said.
Through the Forest Development Corporation, about 14,000 youths are being given employment through the construction of bamboo tree guards, bamboo furniture manufacturing and planting of medicinal plants through Vanaushadhi Board.
In the same manner, with the help of CFTRI Mysore, production of Mahua-based energy bar, chocolate, pickle, sanitiser, amla-based dehydrated products, tamarind candy, jamun juice, bell sharbat, bell marmalade, chironji and cashew packets are being planned. According to the government, this will provide employment to more than 5,000 families, the statement said.
The income of forest dwellers is increasing continuously due to the collection of minor forest produce.
“Tea plantations in Jashpur and Surguja districts directly benefit the beneficiaries. During the crisis of COVID-19, 1,000 women have got employment through sewing of 50 lakh masks. In the current year, about 12 thousand women have received an additional income of Rs 3.23 crore from primary processing of tamarind. In order to increase the income of the forest dwellers, 18.56 lakh fruitful and beneficial varieties of saplings were planted on their own land of 10,497 forest dwellers in 2019,” the statement said.
“In 2020, there is a target of planting 70 lakh plants on the own land of the forest dwellers. As part of efforts to promote lac production, 36,000 main farmers have been selected in 164 production areas. About 12,0000 quintal vermicompost is being produced every year by about 800 beneficiaries,” it further added. (ANI)