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Minor Forest Produces  


Minor Forest Produces


Forests form an intricate element of the social and cultural life of tribals, and it is estimated that in India, about 300 million tribal and other local people depend on forests for their subsistence and livelihood. India has an estimated diversity of 3,000 plant species from which NTFPs, generally  known as Minor Forest Produces (MFP). 

Under Forest Rights Act, 2006, "minor forest produce" includes all non-timber forest produce of plant origin including bamboo, brush wood, stumps, cane, tussar, cocoons, honey, wax, lac, tendu or kendu leaves, medicinal plants and herbs, roots, tubers and the like.
Majority of the tribals live in the forest areas and depend to a large extent for their livelihood and income generation on Minor Forest Produce which form a major source of subsistence and cash income for the tribal community.  Minor Forest Produces also form a major portion food, fruits, medicines and other consumption items for tribals. 
The forest dwellers are legally empowered with the ownership and governance of the MFP through PESA (Panchayat Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996, and the Forest Rights Act, 2006 .
The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, gives the “right of ownership, access to collect, use and dispose of minor forest produce which has been traditionally collected within or outside village boundaries”. The Act was enacted to protect the marginalised socio-economic class of citizens and balance the right to environment with their right to life and livelihood. However, several problems abound. The tribal and other local people dependent on forests still remain underprivileged and poor and are deprived of fair returns.

Mechanism for Marketing of Minor Forest Produce(MFP) through Minimum Support Price (MSP) and Development of Value Chain for MFP

To ensure fair returns  to  forest  dwelling  Scheduled Tribes  and other traditional forest dwellers and as a solution to problems they were facing such as perishable nature of the produce, lack of holding capacity, lack of marketing infrastructure, exploitation by middle men, and  low government intervention at required time, the scheme, “Mechanism for marketing of Minor Forest Produce(MFP) through Minimum Support Price (MSP) and Development of Value Chain for MFP”  was formulated by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs as a measure of social safety  for  MFP gatherers was implemented in 2013. 

The scheme was initially introduced for implementation in  the  State of Andhra Pradesh,  Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra,  Odisha,  Rajasthan and Telangana for  seeded tamarind, wild honey, gum karaya, karanj seeds,  sal seeds, mahuwa Seeds, sal leaves, chironjee pods with with seeds, myrobalan and  lac (Rangeeni and Kusumi).