Retail Marketing for Livelihood Development

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Tribal Handicrafts & Handlooms and Van Dhan Essentials

TRIFED is committed to transform the lives of tribals in India

Covid19- Mitigation

TRIFED, with a focus on tribal artisans in the country, is playing an important role in spreading awareness and reducing the Covid-19 epidemic in tribal populated areas.

The Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) under Ministry of Tribal Affairs has written to the Chief Secretaries of States and Union Territories and all State level nodal agencies regarding combating the impact of Covid-19 on Non Timber Forest Products (NTFP) trade and tribal interests. In a letter, MD, TRIFED, Pravir Krishna has said that Covid-19 has posed an unprecedented difficulty across the world. Almost all the States and UTs in India are affected by it, in varying degrees including all sectors of trade and industry and all segments of society. The tribes are no exception especially this being the peak season for NTFP in many regions. The letter says that it is therefore necessary to think in advance about certain precautionary measures to be taken to protect all, especially tribal-gatherers. The states have been communicated the key points which are illustrative and not exhaustive. There may be several State-specific and/or NTFP-specific points that States may like to include in this list. TRIFED requests the States and all State Level nodal agencies to ensure that these points reach the persons at the cutting edge (tribal gatherers as also their field-level functionaries and tribal interests) at the earliest. DO’s and DON’Ts RELATING TO NTFP DURING COVID-19 SCARE Unscrupulous market forces may try to exploit the tribal gatherers by pushing them to distress sale of NTFP. Hence, MFP scheme will need to be implemented with extra energy, especially in the most vulnerable areas. The NTFP gatherers must be advised regarding hygiene in NTFP collection work. They must sanitize their hands before and after collection work. Hand sanitizers must be placed at the entrance of all NTFP primary processing centres, including Van Dhan Vikas Kendras. Every processor must sanitize her hands before entering the centre and starting to work. The processors must not sit cluttered in the processing centres. They must be at least 2 meters away from each other. If the space in the centre is a constraint, they must be advised to work in different shifts, or work from home under clean conditions. Any person who has any form of cold or cough must not be allowed into the centre and all gatherers and processors must observe social distancing, especially from such persons. If a gatherer (or anybody in her house) shows the slightest signs of Covid-19, they should be subjected to screening and, if necessary, quarantining. The packing material for NTFP must be clean and without damage so that the handlers do not come in contact with the NTFP. To the extent possible, cash transactions must be minimized and amounts must be credited into the bank accounts of the gatherers. The gatherers must be encouraged and supported to adopt cashless practices through Government platforms like RuPay.

Unlocking Potential

TRIFED through the successful implementation of Van Dhan Yojana seeks to shift the focus from mere collection of forest produce to value-addition of the high utility products.

Unlocking potential

In its endeavour to promote tribal development, Trifed’s ‘Van Dhan Yojana’ seeks to shift tribal economy from supply of raw materials to value-added processing of these materials

Mangli, 45, is a thoroughbred Muria-Gond woman. When the mahua season sets in, you can see her going early in the morning with other village women to the deep woods to gather from the forest floor, the yellow mahua flowers with a heady fragrance. She gathers them in a basket custom-designed for it. She can gather about ten kilos of the flower. The to and fro walk, with the head-load on the return walk, is around twelve kilometres. She brings the mahua home and sun-dries it. And then? She smiles back at you. She will sell it to an operative of a trader, locally called a 'kochiya'. She does not know his name but knows him by face. She does not know what 'fair price' connotes. She does not know what the buyer will do with her produce. She does not know what fair-trade practices mean. Years ago, as a little girl, she accompanied her mother to the forest. Now she has a son who is married. Her daughter-in-law accompanies her to the forest. This routine has gone on for ages perhaps. Has there been no change? Yes, there is change, she says, with characteristic simplicity; the forests have thinned out.

That sums up the sad saga of tribal commerce. Once upon a time, tribal dependence on cash was marginal. Now it has increased manifold. But the economics remain at the subsistence level. Why? Because we have got used to viewing the forest-tribes as raw material gatherers, and the tribal areas as raw material storehouses. Scheduled Tribes constitute over eight per cent of our population. Successive governments have done what they thought was necessary for the upliftment of the tribes. But they perhaps did not adequately get to the heart of the matter. The forest-tribes are custodians ('owners', under the new law) of non-timber forest-produces, whose annual market value is estimated to be a staggering two lakh crore rupees. But this huge business-potential is yet to be adequately appreciated. And the strengthening of this business is yet to be adequately understood as the best driver of tribal development.

It is for this reason that the idea of NTFP-centric tribal development for forest/tribal areas needs to be pushed. It took a lot of persuasion and over 200 meetings with concerned agencies and officials at the highest levels. The initiative was aptly named 'Van Dhan', the wealth of the forests. The Prime Minister appreciated the idea and it soon came under his direct patronage as 'Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Vikas Yojana'. Trifed was the natural choice as the nodal agency for implementation of this scheme.

It needs to be emphasised that commerce and industry involving the tribes is the best form of corporate social responsibility that India Inc. should get interested in. It offers profit with 'Punya'. The huge human resource of the forest tribes and their traditional knowledge bank of forest produces is an invaluable capital that our corporate captains have ignored for long. 'Van Dhan' is hands-on involvement in 'Sabka Vikas', inclusive development. What exactly is Trifed's role? It's to provide end-to-end solutions. Trifed has its footprint right from gathering/harvesting the forest produces that include tree-borne oilseeds, flowers, herbs, barks, leaves, honey and a host of natural spices, to their primary processing, product development, packaging, transportation and marketing. Trifed is a facilitator and can help develop linkages between the collectives of tribal NTFP gatherers on the one hand and corporates on the other. Like Mangli gathering mahua in Bastar, there are thousands of other forest-based women spread over 26 states in India who are the first-point source for over a hundred forest produces. Under the new PMVDY scheme, the emphasis is on improving value addition to the produces rather than a mere collection of the produces from the forests. Trifed aptly calls it 'Tech for the Tribes'. It is to promote the tribal 'gatherer' to become a gatherer-cum-processor. For such processing, 'Van Dhan Vikas Kendras' are being set up in strategic locations. 1205 such centres have already been sanctioned in 26 States and most of these have become functional. These involve over 3,60,000 gatherers. Some success stories have already started flowing in. The North Eastern States are doing exceptionally well, thanks to some dedicated leaders in Kohima and Dimapur. The Naga 'Van Dhan' entrepreneurs under the stewardship of Kathi Chand are making Nutra Beverages and 'Herbaceuticals' with tie-ups with the Indian Council for Scientific Research. One of their flagship products is the essential oil derived from Van Tulsi, that sells for Rs 22,000 a litre and is in great demand. The 'Senapati Van Dhan Kendra' under the leadership of Gaithaolu Thaimei is making value-added products from apples and gooseberries. SRIJAN led by Ved Arya is making processed products based on custard apples through the 'Van Dhan Kendra' in Jhadoli (Udaipur). Many more stories are emerging week after week. Trifed has been actively developing new product lines in technical collaboration with IITs and other reputed organisations. 14 such products covering energy-drinks, spices, beauty-care and drugs have already been developed. What we need is more involvement of the corporates in marketing and tertiary processing of the intermediate products made in the 'Van Dhan Vikas Kendras'. Trifed would like to remain a facilitator, to help the private sector develop sustainable facilities and systems. Apart from forest produces, Trifed also deals in the promotion of tribal handicrafts. It has 77 TribesIndia showrooms across India. It wants to promote many more through the franchise model. This opens up self-employment opportunities for hundreds of young entrepreneurs.

Tech for Tribals

TRIFED holds the hands of the capable tribal artisans to hone their entrepreneurial skills and earn a respectable livelihood.

In a major initiative aimed at transforming over 5 crore tribal entrepreneurs, the government has launched "Tech for Tribal" project. The initiative has been launched by Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation (TRIFED) in association with IIT-Kanpur along with IIT-Roorkee, IIM Indore, Kalinga Institute of Social Science (KISS), and SRIJAN, Jaipur during the first phase of organising tribal entrepreneurship and skill development programme.
While talking to Millennium Post, TRIFED MD Pravir Krishna said, "The TRIFED received an overwhelming response from all leading higher education institutions in the country for strategising to infuse best in class training and capacity building for tribals to start their own business."

"The project has huge potential to make an impact over 3 lakh tribals. The TRIFED has drawn out a 5-year strategy for 10 times impact in tribal development," Krishna further said.

"We are working towards greater convergence of various schemes under key ministries of the government of India, leading national institutions, social sector and most of all industry leaders and work towards this singular goal of promoting tribal produce in a big way," said Krishna, who has been working tirelessly to hone up the marketing skills of tribals of the country. Tech for Tribals is an initiative of TRIFED, which is supported by Ministry of MSME and it aims at capacity building and imparting entrepreneurship skills to tribal forest produce gatherers enrolled under the Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojana (PMVDY). The trainees will undergo an over six-week programme comprising 120 sessions.
On the occasion, IIT Kanpur Director Prof Abhay Karandikar said, "The programme offers students and innovators to solve livelihood problems through micro-entrepreneurship development. We will establish a framework for long-term institutional support in fostering tribal-centric micro-entrepreneurship. All our students, start-ups at our Incubation Centre and alumni will have the opportunity to get directly involved in mentoring tribal entrepreneurs and help them build sustainable businesses in the districts they operate."

The TRIFED expects revenue of over Rs 1,000 crores by 1,200 odd Van Dhan Vikas Kendras roll-out their value addition activities, efficiently supported by the best in class expertise available in the country.

Go Global!

Shri Piyush Vedprakash Goyal, Union Minister and Minister of Industry said with a large scale that “I have promised the Prime Minister that we will ensure that every Indian citizen, every person of the country will buy at least his product in the next 3 years. Not much production has been done by tribal police and sisters ”.

TRIFED grows into large family of economically active tribals: Arjun Munda

TRIFED also aims to establish Tribes India kiosks in international airports, partner with PSUs, and government departments for gifting to boost the popularity of tribal handicrafts & handlooms across the nation and beyond.

hri Piyush Goyal, Union Minister for Commerce & Industry & Railways and Shri Arjun Munda, Union Minister of Tribal Affairs chaired a Multi Stakeholders Workshop on 'Strategies for Promoting and Marketing of Tribal Products' organised by TRIFED under Ministry of Tribal Affairs here today. Smt. Renuka Singh, Minister of State for Tribal Affairs, Shri R.C. Meena, Chairman, TRIFED and Shri Pravir Krishna, MD, TRIFED also graced the occasion.

Various stakeholders including officials from many Ministries, ITDC, EPCH, Academia, Industry associations viz. FICCI, CII, ASSOCHAM, DICCI, top advertising consultants, top Designers, Social Sector, e-commerce groups like Wallmart, Snapdeal, Flipkart, etc. for deliberating and finalizing a Plan of Action to revamp and expand the Tribes India #GoTribal campaign participated in the workshop.

Interacting with participants, Shri Piyush Goyal sought the cooperation and suggestion of all stakeholders in expanding both the domestic and global market for tribal products and assured his support towards tribal product commerce. He said that the Government is committed to promoting Make in India products and Tribes India, Handlooms and Khadi products all should be promoted through various means.

Addressing on the occasion, Shri Arjun Munda said that TRIFED has grown into a very large family of economically active tribals including tribal master craftsmen & craftswomen and tribal forest dwellers pursuing micro-entrepreneurship. It is now of paramount importance to expand the market both domestic and international.

Several participants including representatives of FICCI, CII, ASSOCHAM, DICCI and top Advertising consultants, top Fashion designers, and senior government functionaries shared their views as to how the market for tribal products be expanded at domestic as well as at international level.

Shri Pravir Krishna said that the workshop has been organized to converge the efforts of various stakeholders, leading national Institutions, Social sector and most of all Industry leaders, and work towards this singular goal of promoting tribal produce in a big way. He dwelt upon many new initiatives of TRIFED and the Ministry of Tribal Affairs for popularising tribal products.

TRIFED has charted out a comprehensive plan of action for realizing its goals. Representatives from FICCI, ASSOCHAM, DICCI, CII, expressed their support for TRIFED and said that their collaborative efforts will further steer the popularity of TribesIndia products by Corporate Gifting, getting promotional space for tribal murals/displays in their corporate offices, rack-space in their retail outlets, franchise partnerships, etc.

Focusing on improving the design and marketability of tribal products, TRIFED is associating with premium Institutes of design like NID, NIFT, as well as iconic global fashion designers representing the best of Indian & International fashion. Officials from the design institutes participating in the workshop said, "We strongly support the cause of tribal livelihood generation and by partnering with TRIFED, we will help in product enhancement and make Tribes India a household name."

TRIFED also aims to establish Tribes India kiosks in international airports, partner with PSUs, and government departments for gifting to boost the popularity of tribal handicrafts & handlooms across the nation and beyond. Industry Associations, various Corporates, and PSUs expressed their support for TRIFED's objectives and shared their plans for the future.

TRIFED's efforts towards tribal livelihood generation have received plaudits from various ministries of the Government of India, including special mentions by the Minister of Finance, Minister of Commerce& Industry, and the Minister of Home Affairs. The Indian delegation to the World Economic Forum including the Minister of Commerce, MoS Shipping, among other officials also gifted products from Tribes India to foreign dignitaries attending the globally renowned conference which is being held in Davos, Switzerland from 20-25 January 2020.

TRIFED over the last three years has revamped itself as a network of 120 outlets across the country of which 72 are owned and operated by TRIFED themselves. Tribes India outlets are already operational at the airports of Chennai, Jaipur, Ahmadabad, Udaipur, Coimbatore, Trivandrum, Pune, Goa, Kolkata. TRIFED also has aggressively pursued its e-Commerce strategy with its own website( is also on other major e-commerce portals such as Flipkart, Snapdeal, Paytm, Amazon India, Amazon Global, etc. To push Government institutional purchases, TribesIndia has a presence in Government e-Market Place (GeM). National Level Tribal Festivals namely Aadi Mahotsavs, along with other exhibitions, are being organised in various cities all over the country are other efforts being taken to expand the footprint of TribesIndia products and country's tribal heritage.

VanDhan Yojana

Crores Funded
Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Limited (TRIFED)

Focus Areas


Van Dhan Yojana is effectively engaging 3.6 Lakhs tribal Forest Produce Gatherers

As a nodal agency at national level for the implementation of Van Dhan Yojana, TRIFED provides end-to-end solutions. TRIFED has its footprint right from the very first stage of gathering/harvesting the forest produces that include tree-borne oilseeds, flowers, herbs, barks, leaves, honey and a variety of natural spices to the next levels of their primary processing, product development, packaging, transportation and marketing. 

Van Dhan Yojana

State-wise Implementation Status

In order to implement Van Dhan Yojana at state level, several Van Dhan Vikas Kendras (VDVK) are constructed each of which consists of 15 Self Help Groups (SHGs), each involving 20 tribal forest produce gatherers. Thus, 300 tribal forest gatherers are grouped together per VDVK to carry out sustainable micro-business operations. TRIFED plays a key role in imparting skill upgradation, training and providing necessary equipment and toolkits for processing, ongoing mentoring support etc. so as to ensure uninterrupted execution of routine but important activities at each VDVK.  

15300 of 23400 Targeted Beneficiaries onboarded
43750 of 46800 Targeted Beneficiaries onboarded

J&K and Ladakh

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2000 of 15000 Targeted Beneficiaries onboarded
4915 of 5700 Targeted Beneficiaries onboarded
6325 of 7500 Targeted Beneficiaries onboarded
30087 of 34800 Targeted Beneficiaries onboarded

Tribes India - Strategic E-Commerce Partnerships

Tribes India

Tribes India

Tribes India












Govt e Marketplace

TRIFED Corporate Affairs Division

TRIFED has initiated steps to foster VanDhan Micro enterprises through 50-100 State level Producer Companies. VanDhan Producer Companies aims at enhancing productivity, cost reduction, efficient aggregation, large scale processing for value addition, better by-product utilization and efficient marketing of the produce.

Model VDVKs

Success Stories and Best Practices

The stories that reflect the true passion of now developing tribal artisans who are making the creation of Van Dhan Vikas Kendra a tangible success through their sheer hard work under the diligent supervision of TRIFED.


It is a proud moment for us to present the progress that we have made in the implementation of Van Dhan Yojana, touching the lives of 3.6 Lakhs Forest Produce gathering tribals enabling them to take entrepreneurial path. We stand with 18,075 Self Help Groups across India with funding of Rs.165.79 Cr. at present. 

The journey on-going

TRIFED - Updates

"The team of Trifed Warriors will take Tribal Commerce based on forest produces, handlooms and handicrafts to a new high for transforming tribal lives and livelihoods"
Sh. Arjun Munda, Hon’ble Minister of Tribal Affairs

Village and Digital Connect - Tripura

The Van Dhan tribal start-ups, especially has found great acceptance in the North-East. Activities are on in full-swing. Especially in the state of Tripura where activities are on under Hmunpui Van Dhan Vikas Kendra, North Tripura.

ESDP training ongoing at Rajasthan

The ESDP training of VDVK Medi in Rajasthan has been completed on March 19, 2021

Till date, Gramshree Foundation Trust with SRIJAN has imparted total 2 VDVK ESDP Trainings.

Trainings for next batches for several other VDVKs have already been planned.

Village and Digital Connect - Nagaland

As a part of its Village and Digital Connect initiative, TRIFED’s regional officials across the country have been visiting villages with a significant tribal population for the past month. This is being done to oversee the implementation of these programmes and ensure that the programmes are reaching the tribals and they are benefitting from the existing schemes and initiatives. 

ESDP training programme in Van Dhan Vikas Kendra, Junnar District, Maharashtra

ESDP training and presentation was provided by trainers from TISS Mumbai to Van Dhan Vikas Kendra members in Junnar District Pune. It was a positive and successful  interactive session with all participating members.

Van Dhan Vikas Kendra, Babhni, Uttar Pradesh launches its own products!

Van Dhan Vikas Kendra Babhni, Sonebhadra, Uttar Pradesh has taken a big step forward by launching its own products, which include a range of items such as peanuts, turmeric powder. 

What is a highlight is that these products are professionally processed, branded and packaged.