Van Dhan Vikas Karyakram
The tribal communities primarily depend on collection and sale of seasonal minor forest produces (MFP) for livelihood and income...
MFPNET is a network of stakeholders in the trade of MFPs which includes individuals, agencies, institutions etc interested in development of MFP.
Retail Marketing
TRIFED aims to improve the livelihood of the tribal communities by creating a sustainable market and create business opportunities ...

Importance of MFPs

An estimated 100 million people derive their source of livelihood directly from the collection and marketing of MFPs (Report of the National Committee on Forest Rights Act, 2011). According to a World Bank estimate, the NTFP economy is fragile but supports close to 275 million people in rural India (quoted in 'Down To Earth' Report, November 1-15 2010) - a significant part of which comprises the tribal population. MFPs provide essential nutrition to people living in forested areas, and are used for household purposes, thus forming an important part of their non-cash income. For many tribal communities who practice agriculture, MFPs are also a source of cash income, especially during the slack seasons. The economic dependence of tribal communities on MFPs can be understood from the following Table.

Economically Important MFPs

Seasons MFPs collected Economy
January- March Lac (resin), mahuwa, flower and tamarind Over 75 per cent of tribal households in Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh collect mahuwa flower and earn Rs.5000 a year. 3 million people are involved in lac production
April-June Tendu leaves, sal seeds and chironji 30 million forest dwellers depend on seeds, leaves and resins from sal trees; tendu leaf  collection provides about 90 days of employment to 7.5 million people, a further 3 million people are employed in bidi processing
July-September Chironji, mango, mahuwa fruits, silk cocoons and bamboo 10 million people depend on bamboo for livelihood;
1,26,000 households are involved in tussar silk cultivation only
October-November Lac, kullu gum, resins used in incense sticks 3 lakh person days of employment from collection of gums.

NTFPs are especially important for the poorest households living in forested areas, especially women. A recent research study (The Livelihood School, BASIX, 2010) shows that in Chhattisgarh, the involvement of women in the NTFP economy is very high, tribal households depend on the NTFP economy more than non-tribal households and poorer households more than comparatively better-off ones. The NTFP economy is a critical one for the most vulnerable sections of society. Further, a list of the important NTFPs, in terms of their collection potential besides importance for livelihood

S.No. Commodity Estimated Production Potential Estimated Collection Potential
Qty in Lakh MTs Value in Rs Crores Qty in Lakh MTs Value in Rs Crores
1. Tamarind 2.00 240.00 2.00 240.00
2. Mahuwa Flower 1.50 122.00 1.00 81.00
3. Mahuwa Seed 1.00 110.00 0.50 55.00
4. Sal Seed 1.60 160.00 1.00 100.00
5. Tendu 80
(In standard bags)
1040.00 40
(In standard bags)
6. Bamboo 48.00 12.00 12.00 300.00
7. Karanjaaa Seed 0.40 40.00 0.25 25.00
8. Myrobalan 1.30 78.00 0.75 45.00
9. Chironjee 0.10 230.00 0.05 110.00
10. Lac (Stick Lac) 0.25 150.00 0.20 120.00
11. Gum Karaya 0.05 62.00 0.03 37.00
12. Wild Honey 0.30 270.00 0.25 230.00
13. Puwad Seed 0.50 50.00 0.20 20.00
14. Neem Seed 0.25 25.00 0.25 25.00
Say 4000.00
Say 1900 Crores