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Despite Covid crisis, more Tamarind collected this year as compared to last year: Akbar

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Tamarind collected in Chhattisgarh

Additional income of 50.37 crore rupees to Tamarind collectors in the state this year

 67,552 quintals of Tamarind purchased in collection year 2020, while in 2021, collection of 1,92,582 quintals

 Increase in income of forest dwellers from processing activities

Raipur, May 6

Tamarind collected in the forests of Chhattisgarh during the corona-crisis has provided huge economic support to the forest dwellers.  In spite of adverse circumstances, more tamarind has been collected this year than last year, due to which tamarind collectors have received an additional income of Rs 50.37 crore.

Forest and Climate Change Minister Mohammad Akbar told here on May 5 that despite the Covid crisis and lockdown in Chhattisgarh in the year 2020 and 2021,tamarind collection and processing work was continously carried out by the government through women self-help groups for providing additional income to the villagers, especially tribals. Also, the work has doubled. The tamarind collectors have received additional funds from tamarind collection as well as its processing.

In the state, 67,552 quintals of tamarind was purchased from the collectors by the women self-help groups in the year 2020, valued at Rs 20.99 crore.  While 1,92,582 quintals of tamarind worth Rs 71.36 crore have been purchased in the collection year 2021.  In this way, collectors have earned an additional income of 50.37 crores in the year 2021 as compared to the collection year 2020.  The collectors’ livelihood has also increased through various activities, including processing at the time of the Covid crisis.  In the year 2020 good procurement work was done by the district union Jagdalpur, Narayanpur, Dantewada, South Kondagaon and Keshkal.  In the year 2021, Jagdalpur, South Kondagaon, Bijapur, Narayanpur, Dantewada, Sukma and Keshkal have performed well.

The state produces about 5.00 lakh quintals of tamarind per year. Tamarind is grown mainly in Bastar region.  Chhattisgarh State Minor Forest Produce Federation is procuring tamarind under the Minimum Support Price Scheme through women self-help groups.  During the Covid-19 crisis, the union procured tamarind despite the lockdown.  In the collection year 2020, the purchase rate fixed for Aati Tamarind under the Minimum Support Price Scheme was increased from Rs.  31 per kg  to Rs.  36 per kg.  Similarly, the amount prescribed for flower tamarind has been increased from Rs.  63 per kg to Rs.  69 per kg.  With the increase in the minimum support price, minor forest produce collectors got a fair price for their forest produce.

Processing of the tamarind purchased from the collectors, is done by self-help groups and other beneficiaries working in the Van Dhan Vikas Kendra.  On the one hand, by the purchase of tamarind, the villagers are getting a fair price for their forest produce, while on the other hand, they are also benefiting from the additional income by it’s processing.  In the collection year 2020, 23,312 quintals of tamarind purchased was processed.  Similarly, in the collection year 2021, processing of 68,330 quintals of tamarind out of collected tamarind was completed within the last one month.  In the year 2020, about 13,311 beneficiaries received payment of 1.45 crore from processing work of tamarind.  In the year 2021, 21,582 beneficiaries received an amount of Rs. 2.69 crore for tamarind processing work. During the Covid crisis also, the monthly income of the villagers has increased significantly in the year 2021 as compared to the year 2020. Tamarind processing was performed well by Jagdalpur, Dantewada, Kondagaon last year.  In the current year also, excellent performance has been done by District Union Jagdalpur, Dantewada, Kondagaon during Covid crisis.

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