The Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED), under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, has been exploring convergences and partnerships with like-minded organisations to create synergies together with the main aim of furthering tribal empowerment and improving their livelihoods. In this regard, TRIFED has started tying up with government departments and other like-minded organisations.
One of the departments with whom TRIFED has aligned is the Ministry of Food Processing (MoFPI). MoFPI is implementing the Prime Minister Formalisation of Micro food processing Enterprises (PM-FME) Scheme, which is a landmark initiative under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan to support micro-level food entreprenuers, FPOs, SHGs and co-operatives. An important component of this scheme is the tribal sub-plan.
A communique to define the Convergence mechanism in implementation of this scheme was signed between Deepak Khandekar, Secretary Minister of Tribal Affairs and Pushpa Subrahmanyam, Secretary, Ministry of Food Processing in the presence of Arjun Munda, Minister of Tribal Affairs and Narendra Singh Tomar, Minister of Agriculture and Food Processing, Thawar Chand Gehlot, Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, RameswarTeli, MoS, MoFPI and Pravir Krishna, Managing Director, TRIFED on December 18, 2020.
Other than the communique, an MOU was also signed between TRIFED and MoFPI to detail the key areas of collaboration. It has been agreed that TRIFED, as the nodal agency working for tribal upliftment would develop a new range of tribal food products, TriFood.
With the necessary funding under the PM-FME Scheme of MoFPI, the TriFood range of tribal food products would be developed, branded, and packaged by TRIFED. It has also been agreed that the self help groups (SHGs) working under the Van DhanYojana would be provided support under the PM-FME Scheme including for handholding, training, capital investment, and working capital.