- The Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) came into existence in 1987. It is a national-level apex organization functioning under the administrative control of Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
- TRIFED has its Head Office located in New Delhi and has a network of 13 Regional Offices located at various places in the country.
- The ultimate objective of TRIFED is socio-economic development of tribal people in the country by way of marketing development of the tribal products such as metal craft, tribal textiles, pottery, tribal paintings and pottery on which the tribals depends heavily for major portion of their income.
- TRIFED acts as a facilitator and service provider for tribes to sell their product.
- The approach by TRIFED aims to empower tribal people with knowledge, tools and pool of information so that they can undertake their operations in a more systematic and scientific manner.
- It also involves capacity building of the tribal people through sensitization, formation of Self Help Groups (SHGs) and imparting training to them for undertaking a particular activity.
It mainly undertakes two functions viz. Minor Forest Produce (MFP) development and Retail Marketing and Development.
Minor Forest Produce (MFP) development
- An important source of livelihood for tribal people are non-wood forest products, generally termed 'Minor Forest Produce (MFP)'. This includes all non-timber forest produce of plant origin and include bamboo, canes, fodder, leaves, gums, waxes, dyes, resins and many forms of food including nuts, wild fruits, honey, lac, tusser etc.
- The Minor Forest Produces provide both subsistence and cash income for people who live in or near forests. They form a major portion of their food, fruits, medicines and other consumption items and also provide cash income through sales.
- MFP has significant economic and social value for the forest dwellers as an estimated 100 Million people derive their source of livelihood from the collection and marketing of Minor Forest Produce (Report of the National Committee on Forest Rights Act, 2011).
- Around 100 million forest dwellers depend on Minor Forest Produces for food, shelter, medicines and cash income. Tribals derive 20-40% of their annual income from Minor Forest Produce on which they spend major portion of their time.
- MFP also has strong linkage to women’s financial empowerment as most of the Minor Forest Produces are collected and used/sold by women.
- The people who depend on MFP are generally beset with a number of other problems such as perishable nature of the produce, lack of holding capacity, lack of marketing infrastructure, exploitation by middlemen, etc. Due to this, the MFP gatherers who are mostly poor are unable to bargain for fair prices.
- To cope with the above problem, Govt. of India has decided to introduce the scheme of “Mechanism for Marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) through Minimum Support Price (MSP) and development of value chain”.
- The scheme is designed as a social safety net for improvement of livelihood of MFP gatherers by providing them a fair price for the MFPs they collect.
Retail Marketing and Development
- TRIFED aims to improve the livelihood of the tribal communities by creating a sustainable market and create business opportunities for tribal people.
- It involves exploring marketing possibilities for marketing of tribal products on a sustainable basis, creating brand and providing other necessary services.
- It has a network of 13 regional offices across the country which identifies and source tribal products for marketing through its retail marketing network of TRIBES INDIA outlets.
- It has been undertaking sourcing of various handicraft, handloom and natural & food products through its empanelled suppliers across the country. The suppliers comprise of individual tribal artisans, tribal SHGs, Organisations/ Agencies/NGOs working with tribals. The suppliers are empanelled with TRIFED as per the guidelines for empanelment of suppliers.
- TRIFED has been marketing tribal products through its Retail Outlets located across the country and also through exhibitions. It has established a chain of 35 own showrooms and 8 consignment showrooms in association with State level Organisations promoting tribal handicrafts.