A lot is often talked about the empowerment of tribals so that they can gain meaningful employment & also to assist them in retaining their intrinsic skill/art that many of them possess.
One such corporation that has been ardently bolstering the economic livelihood of tribal farmers is the The Girijan Co-operative Corporation (GCC Ltd.).
Established in the year 1956 this public Sector undertaking of Govt. of Andhra Pradesh works with an objective to improve Socio Economic upliftment of Tribal Communities in the State.
Armed with the objective to annul the involvement of middlemen so that tribal farmers can get more return for their produce GCC has for decades been helping tribals in realising true value for their indigenous products.
A PSU undertaking of Govt. of Andhra Pradesh
Established in 1956 supports Tribals by giving remunerative prices for their produce
GCC implements MSP for 5 items of Minor Forest Produce
There are said to be about 26 lakh tribals in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
‘The livelihood of Tribals is protected by GCC giving remunerative prices and by its large presence through 8 Divisional Offices, 26 Primary Cooperative Marketing Societies and (962) DR Depots’ said Mr G Suresh Kumar, IIS, Vice Chairman and MD of GCC speaking exclusively to Vizag Industrial Scan.
Some of the Products Sourced by GCC
Coffee, Honey, Tamarind, Turmeric Powder, Rajmah, Shikakai, Soapnut, Amla, Bilva, Nannari sharbats, Triphala etc.
GCC is actively involved in the business promotion of various products sourced from Forest & Agriculture produce gathered by tribals viz., Coffee, Honey, Tamarind, Turmeric Powder, Rajmah, Shikakai, Soapnut, Amla, Bilva, Nannari sharbats, Triphala etc. These branded products are then marketed through distribution channels including online.The top 3 products that GCC sources from tribals are Honey followed by Arabica coffee and Turmeric.
‘We give our tribal farmers the best price for their product. Just to give you an example, in the international market today coffee is being sourced at Rs 255/kg while GCC is giving tribal farmers Rs 270/kg’ said the VC and MD.
GCC sourced about 130MT of arabica coffee last fiscal FY 22 while for this fiscal its targeting a whopping 1500 MT.
Arabica coffee is the main variety grown in the tribal areas of Paderu Agency. It is informed that in Paderu Agency the preferred mode of sale by tribal farmers is 80% of the yield in the form of Cherry coffee and 20% as Parchment coffee.
GCC has been protecting the livelihood of Tribals by giving them remunerative prices for their produce.
Mr G Suresh Kumar, IIS,
Similarly to meet the demand for Girijan Honey, GCC is intensifying collection of Rock Bee Honey by imparting training on scientific tapping / collection to tribal honey hunters.
Another key area where GCC has been a boon for tribal farmers is the sourcing of Minor forest produce (MFP).
‘To curtail exploitation and provide remunerative prices to the Tribal Farmers, GCC is implementing Minimum Support Price (MSP) for 5 items of Minor Forest Produce approved by Government of India and supported by GOAP and has paid Rs. 46.23 Lakhs to the MFP Gatherers. We have a monopoly of 30 MFPs’ informed the VC and MD.
GCC has procured 6564.60 Qtls. of Minor Forest Produce & Agricultural produce worth Rs. 245.11 Lakhs at the door step of the Tribal Farmers and provided livelihood to more than One Lakh Tribal families.And to accommodate the growing product line of tribal farmers the cooperative is looking to further enhance its sourcing basket and is aiming to harnessMillets viz., Ragi, Samalu, Sajjalu, Korralu, Oodalu.
Some of the other vital benefits that GCC offers to tribals is credit facility wherein it has given credit to the tune of Rs. 200.12 Lakhs to 436 Tribal farmers towards Seasonal Agricultural Operations. It also provides Credit loans to Tribal farmers for Coffee operations. GCC posted revenues of Rs 460 crores in the last fiscal and is hoping to cross over Rs 500 crores in this fiscal.