The Union government is planning to tie up with e-commerce player Amazon to expand the market for tribal handicrafts via the online retail space.
Pravir Krishna, managing director of Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Limited (TRIFED), a national-level organisation under the tribal affairs ministry, said an MoU with Amazon would be signed next week.
The TRIFED has already tied-up with Snapdeal. The government plans to expand the reach of the 'Tribe India' brand through scaling of operations and house-to-house retail marketing, Krishna said.
"We have invited offers from retailers to become franchise of 'Tribe India' from all over the country. We currently have 43 retail outlets in the country through which tribal products are being sold. We plan to set up 2,000 franchise outlets. The idea is to take the sale to around Rs. 100 crores," he said.
The government is also working to provide insurance to forest producers on lines of horticulture and agricultural schemes, so that "they can be insured against price variation and slump," Krishna said.
He told reporters the ministry will organise a national workshop on Minimum Support Price (MSP) for non-timber forest products, also known as minor forest produce (MFP), to address the gaps in the scheme and make it more efficient.
The MSP is a form of market intervention by the government through which the price is fixed to protect forest producers against excessive fall in price during bumper production years. The MSP scheme is currently implemented in just nine states, but it will be expanded to all 30 states.
The ministry has asked state governments to set procurement centres manned by self-help groups. "They will be given a commission of 7.5 per cent for doing this," he said.
"The motto is to recalibrate the programme by identifying the gaps and have a pan-India coverage to provide a fair and equitable deal to tribals in their trade," Krishna said.