On Monday (29 January 2024); The Odisha Government has unveiled the LABHA Scheme (Laghu Bana Jatya Drabya Kraya) with the aim of fostering the development and empowerment of approximately one crore tribals in the state. The State Cabinet, led by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, has given its approval to this initiative.
LABHA Yojana is a fully state-funded Minimum Support Price for Minor Forest Produce (MFP) scheme. The Minimum Support Price will be determined annually by the State Government.
Under this scheme, primary collectors from the tribal community can sell minor forest produce at the Minimum Support Price, which is set and collected at the procurement centers managed by TDCCOL.
Given that 99% of primary collectors are tribals, with a significant portion being women, LABHA Yojana will collaborate with Mission Shakti’s Women Self-Help Groups (SHGs).
The procurement centers will be overseen by SHGs or other designated agencies with assistance from TDCCOL. Upon collection, the amount will be transferred through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) to the beneficiary’s account, with the SHG or designated agency receiving a 2% commission.
To enhance transparency, the Procurement Automation System, based on the 5T principles, will utilize technology to capture the total MFP collection, along with details of the primary collector and procurement point. This system is expected to bring significant benefits to the tribal population.
For subsequent sales, TDCCOL will conduct e-tendering, exploring opportunities for value addition and processing units. Additionally, to further support tribal communities, the state government is establishing a 25-crore Tamarind processing plant in Rayagada. This facility will utilize the Minor Forest Produce of Tamarind procured through LABHA Yojana for value addition, thereby eliminating the risk of distress sales to middlemen.