Tamil Nadu : The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has come forward to fund skill training programmes for Kaani tribals on value addition of farm produces to augment income.
The tribals, besides selling minor forest produces such as honey and gooseberry, produce pepper, cashew, lemon and tapioca in large quantities but sell them through their society at prices mostly fixed by buyers. Hence, NABARD has taken the initiative of training the tribal people on value addition to their farm produces as it would fetch them attractive prices.
Visiting the Kaani tribals living in three hamlets near Papanasam dam recently, Chief General Manager, NABARD, S. Nagoor Ali Jinnah said NABARD would encourage value addition of the Kaani’s farm produces by funding the training programmes, which would be conducted by Sister Nivdedita Mission Trust.
“If we can achieve value addition of the agro products of Kaani tribes, it will add more color and demand to their products in the market,” Mr. Jinnah said.
NABARD would also encourage and fund the training programmes for the tribal women on tailoring, poultry, apiary, aquaculture, ornamental and medicinal plants nursery, he added.
The banker suggested that the Kaani tribals take steps to improve their traditional medicinal practices through sustained research and promised to extend all possible help to take the fruits of their findings to the rest of the world.
“If the Kaani tribals can achieve mastery over value addition of their products and their traditional medicinal practices to provide healthcare solutions free of side effects, NABARD will assist you to take your products and findings to even other States by way of conducting exhibitions there,” Mr. Jinnah promised.
NABARD would sponsor a van to transport their agro produce from their ranches, situated deep inside the forest, to areas which could easily be accessed by the public so that the producers could sell their products at the right price to consumers and traders.
He handed over a solar drier to the tribal farmers to dry farm products such as pepper, tapioca and chilli.
Chairman of Pandyan Grama Bank N. Ravichandran said the PGB would provide the tribals with savings bank account and educational and livelihood loans and promised to provide solar-powered lamps to their homes.
Head of Kaani Tribes Arumugam Kaani, village head Dhakshinamoorthy Kaani, general secretary, Pothigaimalai Aadhivaasi Kaanikkaaran Samuthaaya Munnetra Sangam, M. Ganesa Murthy and senior bank officials participated.
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