• Van Dhan Mission is an initiative targetting livelihood generation for tribals by harnessing the wealth of the forest, i.e. Van Dhan. The program aims to add technology and value addition to the traditional knowledge and skills of the tribal people and to convert them into viable economic activity. 
  • The proposition is to set up tribal community owned Non Timber Forest produce (NTFP) centric multi-purpose Van Dhan vikas Kendras (the Kendra) in tribal districts. These Kendras would function as common facility centers for procurement cum value addition to locally available NTFPs and skill based handicraft. Value addition to raw produce is expected to increase the income of those families who depend on collection of NTFPs as their primary source of livelihood but are compelled to sell these products at low prices to traders because of lack of processing facilities. 
  • In Phase-I, A sum of Rs. 1.5 lakh (Rs. 50000 for training and Rs.1,00,000 for tool kit/equipment) will be provided for every 30 persons, or proportionately. It is proposed in the scheme guidelines that one Kendra may be set up for upto 10 SHGs (each with a membership of 30 persons), thus an amount of upto Rs 15 lakhs may be sanctioned for one Kendra. It is proposed that these be set up at any government building, Gram Panchayat building, beneficiary’s house, etc. It is laid out in the guidelines that the amount for working capital should be provided from the finances of the SHG via loan, etc.
  • In Phase-II, after about 4-6 months of setting up of the temporary Kendras, those Kendras which are performing well will be chosen for upgradation to permanent Kendras and a sum of upto Rs. 20 lakhs will be sanctioned in a ration of 75:25  between Centre and State. 



The state of Mizoram with about 86.275 (ISFR 2017) of its area under Forest Cover and over 95% of the population under the Scheduled tribe status can utilize the above scheme very well to enable augmentation of income for rural population who are dependent on collection of NTFPs. A variety of products are routinely collected by the rural population, for eg Hmunphiah, bamboo, areca nut, anchiri, medicinal plants, etc which are available in abundance but sold directly , without any value addition to the products. to traders at very low prices.


The following products can be collected and processed :

  1. Anchiri
  2. Broom
  3. Tumbu (Plantain)
  4. Aidu (Black Cardamom)
  5. Bamboo
  6. Turmeric
  7. Ginger
  8. Squash
  9. Aloe Vera
  10. Honey
  11. Hill Broom
  12. Gooseberry
  13. Hruizik
  14. Maize
  15. Baibing
  16. Amla
  17. Khawmhma (Rhus Javanica)
  18. Tej patta
  19. Oil Palm
  20. Arecanut
  21. Chili


  • As per the scheme guidelines, the proposal should be submitted by the District Level Coordination and Monitoring Committee headed by the District Collector through the State Implementing Agency.

Some of them have been performing very well, for eg the Champhai Town Multipurpose Society had an annual turnover over Rs 90 lakh  in FY 2017-18. 

  • To begin with, five NTFPs may be identified by the District Level Agency and one Vikas Kendra may be set up in the district HQ or surrounding areas for processing of each of these items. Thereafter, the scheme may be expanded to include more beneficiaries and more products. 

  • The Composition of the District Level Coordination and Monitoring Committee is proposed to be as follows:

Chairperson: District Collector
Member Secretary: Assistant Registrar Cooperative Societies for the concerned district (in case of Lawngtlai and Siaha, PD-DRDA is proposed to be the Member Secretary)

Members:  PD-DRDA (who is in charge of NRLM)              

       Chairman and MD of the concerned LAMPS/Multi purpose Society/Consumer                    Society

                Any other officer as per the opinion of District Collector


  • The Composition of the State Level Implementing Agency  is proposed to be as follows:

 Chairperson : Chief Secretary

Member Secretary : Registrar Cooperative Societies


  1. Secretary, Cooperation
  2. Secretary, Finance
  3. Director, Rural Development
  4. Secretary, Environment and Forest
  5. Secretary, Planning and Programme Implementation



The Van Dhan Mission is envisage to be implemented through a unique ‘cluster development’ approach

At unit level : The Cooperative Society shall be primarly responsible for collection and aggregation of NTFPs from the nearby forests and undertaing primary level value addition they may receive raw material form State Nodal Agency and return the processed goods to the Nodal Agency as finished product. They may also buy MFP from its own funds.


This stage will involve primary value addition of MFP items through mechanical tools such as decorticators, sickle, secateurs, cutting tools, dryers, graders etc.


Under the Mission, each Van Dhan Undra shall be supported with following facilities/components:

  • Building/infrastructure support to be established in one of the beneficiary’s house/part of house or Government/gram panchayat building.
  • Primary processing equipment/tool kit comprising equipment such as small cutting and sieving tools, decorticator, dryer, packaging tool etc.based on NTFPs available in the area.
  • Facilitate training for a batch of 30 trainees on sustainable harvesting/collection of NTFPs and value addition for all NTFPs available in the area and also training on traditional handicraft & handloom development. Provision for raw material for training purpose and supply of trainee kits.
  • Facilitation and arrangement for working capital for the Van Chan Vikas Kendra to be met through tie up with financial institutions, banks, NSTFDC etc.

  • At cluster level, the Van Dhan Vikas Kendra shall act as a common facility centre. It shall facilitate linkages in both local and distant markets for sale of the processed/value added products produced by the Van Dhan SHGs.

  • The Kendras may also enter into tie-ups with a corporate/secondary processor on defined terms or may simply provide space to its members on custom hiring basis for processing of their produce in hygienic conditions. Besides, the Kendras shall also facilitate transportation and storage(on rental basis) on behalf of the beneficiary for the NTFPs/raw material and the processed products.

  • Each Van Dhan Vikas Kendra shall be managed by the Board of Directors of the Cooperative Society

  • Linkage with local Bazaars: The Van Dhan Vikas Kendras will be established around the catchment areas of the local bazaars.


As per the estimation there are more than 10,000 Haats in the tribal areas. Within the provisions of the scheme of MSP for MFP, it is proposed to modernize their Haat Bazaars with permanent structure and facilities for storage, drinking water, shade, platform, weighing equipment and other tools etc. The modernisation of the Haat Bazaars shall be taken up in a phased manner, along with the establishment of the Van Dhan Vikas Kendras.

  • Notably, there exists a strong complementarily between the Aajeevika – National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) of the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) and proposed Van Dhan Mission of Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) as both focus on pro-poor transformation through building of strong grassroots livelihood collectives. Concerted efforts shall be made towards tapping the network of all existing Scheduled Tribe (ST) Self Help Groups (SHGs) formed and/or revived under NRLM and consolidation them into Van Dhan SHGs at unit level and federated into Van Dhan Kendras at cluster level. Particularly for the North Eastern States, the existing network of SHGs promoted under regional rural livelihood development initiatives as North East Rural Livelihood Project (NERLP) and North Eastern Region Community Resource Management Project (NERCORMP) promoted by the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) shall be mobilized.


Criteria for qualification of Aajeevika/DoNER SHGs for Van Dhan Vikas Kendras

  • The SHGs should comprise of MFP gatherers.
  • The SHGs should have a minimum of 60% tribal members.
  • The SHGs should be present in the catchment areas of the MFPs
  • The SHGs selected through the Aajeevika network will be distinguishable from others through software generated unique numbers provided to them for monitoring purpose.

Cost for establishment of the Van Dhan Kendra

  • Cost per Van Dhan Vikas Kendra is estimated to be Rs. 15 lakhs.

- The count requirement is calculated at a unit rate of Rs. 1.5 lakhs per 310 beneficiary.

- The cost mainly includes the cost of training (for a batch of 30 trainees for 4 days) and const of equipment.

Additionally, the working capital requirement is calculated at a unit rate of Rs. 1 lakhs per Van Dhan SHG for a cluster of 10 such SHGs per Kendra.

The requirement of working capital shall be met from excess corpus of the Co-operative Society or raised from financial institutions as NSFTDC, SBI and other banks.