Tribal Women Innovate with Forest Produce in Chhattisgarh

 Tribal Women Innovate with Forest Produce in Chhattisgarh

Women Innovate with Forest Produce_ichhori.webp

Jashpur district in northern Chhattisgarh is expanding into a wide range of fields thanks to its flourishing businesses in forest-based products, with the women of the tribal communities leading this movement. The area is known for its dense forests, different varieties of rice, and tribal communities.

Residents of this area may grow a variety of non-endemic crops because of a favourable climate. The mild climate in the villages of Sanna and Manora encourages farmers to produce an abundance of cashews, pears, tomatoes, and many sorts of chiles. Farmers eventually became aware of the need outside of their state's borders and were able to profit from their output thanks to increased connectivity. Earlier, these crops were only eaten locally, which limited production.

In Jashpur, tribal women and male farmers collaborate to raise the most profitable crops that are most adapted to the local environment. These tribal women take control of the fields to plant cashew nuts after the rabi harvest. While some are active in the operations that take place after the fields have ripened, others tend to the fields. After the nuts have been prepared, they distribute them by the requests made. They provide cashews to regional markets, independent customers, and other marketplaces, including government markets connected to online retailers like Amazon.

Government assistance and self-help organisations

Through self-help groups, the state government and local administration play a critical role in connecting the local indigenous women with these markets. For instance, the Pakritoli block of Duldula's Surajmukhi self-help group is engaged in the production of cashew nuts.

According to Jhimni Bai, president of Surajmukhi, "This tiny endeavour has helped all members develop." "This little amount of extra money is essential to our way of life. Now that we are capable of managing the home on our own, we can save the money we earn from farming. It has given us independence. Everyone first believed we wouldn't be able to pull it off. But we now successfully manage our organisation.

The director of distribution in Jashpur, Rajesh Kumar Gupta, occasionally oversees and inspects these groups.

According to him, "tribal women and other farmers have come together and found ways to lower their production costs and generate more profit." "Native women and male farmers place joint orders for compost and other raw materials, which reduces the cost of transportation. Additionally, they offer bundled products to save additional fees from vendors and markets. These steps guarantee they receive the highest possible price for their produce. These shops distribute their goods both offline and online, selling them all throughout the state.

According to district collector Mahadev Kawre, their goal was to empower tribal women and they did this by offering various forms of aid.

Karen emphasises, "We help them buy and set up machinery and also provide scholarships. Next, we help turn animal husbandry into a legitimate industry by connecting these women with go thanks. These programmes are now widely known among locals. Self-groups abound, and when assistance is needed to advance, they look for it. Slowly but surely, things are improving.

Cashews to sanitisers

A teenage scientist named Samartha Jain created a device that can convert manual, an indigenous plant used to generate alcohol, into sanitiser. His objective was to empower women by giving them the chance to support themselves financially and to promote independence.

“They are capable of much more; I only provided them a tool,” Jain says. "We taught them how to operate the machine and make sanitiser step-by-step with the assistance of the forest department. We also demonstrated to them other mahua business opportunities.

Another self-help organisation, Singi, with headquarters in Jashpur, encouraged tribal women to fully utilise their resources, setting the standard for many others like them. Shakuntala Orion, president of Singi, explains how they run this sanitiser-making apparatus by stating that they first collect the raw materials (manual, neem, tulsi, coriander, eucalyptus, jeera, and lemongrass), process them, and then transform them into an organic sanitiser. It employs only locally sourced raw materials, produces no waste, and has no negative side effects.

She continues, "We simply purchase the bottles from outside for packing. "After doing my tasks, I travel from a neighbouring village. All seven days of the week, we work shifts to finish our requests promptly. Additionally, our earnings have improved.

The secretary of Singi, Karuna Bhagar, concurs with Orion's assertions, adding that since more people were aware of them after the lockdown, they were able to make more money.

She boasts, "We do everything on our own. “We made mistakes, but we also learnt how to repair them. In this way, we develop. We seek assistance from Samartha sir for technical issues. Our coworkers receive monthly income, and we all share in the profits. With this work, our financial situation is better than it was.

Previous Post Next Post