Nagaland’s hill broom grass is all set to make its journey to mainstream markets through the Centre’s ‘Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan’ programme. With Van Dhan Vikas Kendras being rolled out pan India, Nagaland has chosen to scale-up visibility of the sought after hill broom grass—one of the State’s key forest produce items. These brooms made from grass in the Northeast are special as they are sturdier compared to the ones made in other states.
In order to enable forest produce gatherers to value add and market their non-timber minor forest produce (MFP), the Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) is planning to grant approvals by the end of September for creation of 600 Van Dhan Vikas Kendras (VDVK) across 307 districts in 27 states.
What makes Nagaland a case study is that it happens to be the first State to send in proposals for 20 VDVKs and TRIFED sanctioned Rs 3 crore for setting up the same. According to TRIFED, this is the first State to get approval under the PM Van Dhan programme. Before this a VDVK pilot was launched in Bijapur, Chhattisgarh in April last year.
Besides hill broom grass, Nagaland is also planning to explore building a market through VDVKs for cardamom and honey extracted from rock bees. Nagaland’s State Co-operative Marketing and Consumers’ Federation Ltd. popularly known as MARCOFED has identified some 18 plus MFPs and it will steer creation of 13 VDVKs.