Kohima: Nagaland has bagged seven prestigious national awards in the Van Dhan Vikas Yojana (VDVY) and Minimum Support Price (MSP) schemes for exemplary performance in various categories.

The VDVY and MSP for Minor Forest Produce (MFP) scheme focus on farmers’ entrepreneurship programmes through processing, packaging, branding and marketing of locally available products, according to an official statement issued on Monday.

Nagaland topped in three categories – Best Survey, Best Training and the most number of Van Dhan Vikas Clusters (VDVKCs) established.

The North-eastern state also secured third positions in Best Sales Generated at Rs 115,86,000 and Innovation and Creativity.

It got the two other awards for a couple of ideas: supply of gooseberry wine by a multipurpose society and that of mushroom by Nagaland Beekeeping & Honey Mission, the statement said.

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Under the VDVY Scheme, Nagaland has 206 clusters comprising 2,805 self-help groups and 61,800 beneficiaries throughout the state, the statement said.

The awards were announced virtually by Union Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda on the occasion of the 34th foundation day of the Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) on August 6.

TRIFED spearheads the implementation of the Van Dhan programme in 27 states and 307 districts with the availability of MFPs and a significant forest-dwelling tribal population. Collection and sale of MFPs contribute 40 60 per cent of tribal annual earnings and further Value Addition helps in tripling or quadrupling their income, according to the TRIFED website.

The program addresses the formidable problems that the Tribals face such as possession of land/house with no rights; restrictions in the collection of minor forest produce; exploitation by middlemen; displacement from national parks and wild sanctuaries, lack of development in forest villages etc.

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