BHUBANESWAR: The Forest and Environment department will soon roll out a Multi Product Cluster Initiative for promoting livelihood of people dwelling in forest fringe villages of the State. Officials said the Odisha Forestry Sector Development Society (OFSDS) will implement the initiative under Odisha Forestry Sector Development Project (OFSDP)-II, one of the JICA assisted projects of the State.
Under the initiative, OFSDS will form clusters of Van Surakshya Samitis (VSSs) and self-help groups (SHGs) to provide them a platform to collect and market non-timber forest products identified by it. So far, 19 different non-timber forest products including includes sal leaf, amla, tamarind, honey, bamboo, harida, bahada, etc have been identified for collection and sale through the clusters. More such products will be included to the list in future, officials said.
A consortium of Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology and Technology Business Incubator (KIIT- TBI) Bhubaneswar, Bhubaneswar City Knowledge Innovation Cluster (BCKIC), and Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship (IIE), Guwahati will support OFSDS in imparting training to the clusters, packaging and branding of the products as well as providing market linkage.
PCCF and HoFF Debidutta Biswal said establishment of multi-product clusters to support the forest fringe dwellers will be beneficial for the communities and other stakeholders in producing quality natural products in the market.