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About Van Dhan Vikas Kendras


Around 120 tribal women members of the Odisha state’s Van Dhan Vikas Kendras prepare laddus, cakes, jam, toffees, pickles, squash, pakodas and biscuits using dry mahua flowers and supply them in the local market.


GS II: Government policies and Interventions

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Van Dhan Vikas Kendras
  2. Mahua Tree

About Van Dhan Vikas Kendras:

  • The Ministry of Tribal Affairs and Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) launched the Van Dhan scheme in 2018 to improve tribal income through the value addition of tribal products.

Structure and Functioning:

Formation and Clustering:
  • VDVKs are established as self-help groups (SHGs) or tribal cooperatives.
  • They bring together tribal gatherers and artisans involved in the collection and processing of forest produce.
  • The gatherers are organized into clusters based on their geographical proximity.
Skill Development:
  • VDVKs provide skill development and capacity-building training to tribal gatherers.
  • The training focuses on various aspects such as sustainable harvesting, primary processing, value addition, packaging, branding, and marketing.
Value Addition and Processing:
  • VDVKs facilitate value addition to the collected forest produce.
  • They promote activities like grading, sorting, processing, packaging, and manufacturing of products from forest resources.
  • This adds value to the products, increases their marketability, and generates higher income for tribal gatherers.
Marketing and Linkages:
  • VDVKs assist in marketing the processed forest produce by establishing market linkages.
  • They connect tribal entrepreneurs with potential buyers, wholesalers, retailers, and export markets.
  • This helps in creating a sustainable market for the tribal products and ensures fair prices for the gatherers.
Support and Finance:
  • VDVKs receive support and financial assistance from the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and other relevant agencies.
  • They can avail loans, grants, subsidies, and technical support for their operations and infrastructure development.
  • The financial assistance aims to strengthen the VDVKs and enhance the income-generating potential of tribal entrepreneurs.
Impact and Benefits:
  • VDVKs empower tribal gatherers by providing them with a platform for collective action and entrepreneurship.
  • They contribute to poverty alleviation, rural development, and socio-economic upliftment of tribal communities.
  • VDVKs promote sustainable utilization of forest resources, conservation of biodiversity, and preservation of traditional tribal knowledge.
  • The initiative creates employment opportunities, reduces migration, and promotes inclusive growth in tribal regions.

Mahua Tree

The Mahua tree (Madhuca longifolia) is a plant widely cultivated and harvested in Southern Asia for its edible flowers and oil seeds. Here are some important facts about this remarkable tree:

Common Names:

  • The Mahua tree is known by various names such as madhūka, madkam, mahuwa, Butter Tree, mahua, mahwa, mohulo, Iluppai, Mee, or vippa chettu.


  • This species is frost-resistant and can thrive in marginal areas of dry tropical and subtropical forests. It can grow at altitudes ranging from 1200 to 1800 meters.


  • Mahua trees can be found scattered in pastures, crop fields in central India, and along river banks in semi-evergreen forests. They have adapted to diverse ecological conditions.

Climate Requirements:

  • The Mahua tree flourishes in regions with an annual rainfall between 500 mm and 1500 mm. It can tolerate temperatures ranging from 2 to 46°C, showcasing its adaptability to different climates.

Soil Preferences:

  • It prefers loamy or sandy-loam soils with good drainage. However, it can also be found on shallow stony, clayey, and calcareous soils, indicating its ability to grow in diverse soil conditions.

-Source: Down To Earth

December 2023