Govt.-controlled organisation will continue to accept kendu leaf
The Odisha government has handed over trade rights of kendu (tendu) leaf, an important minor forest produce, to residents of six villages in Kalahandi district.
“Residents of six villages in the Kegaon range of the Bhawanipatna kendu leaf division are free to sell kendu leaf to anybody of their choice as per rights conferred under Section 3(i) (c) of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers Act 2006,” the Forest and Environment Department said in a notification.
The six villages are Khainsuguda, Jamguda Bahal, Jamjharan, Kasturpadar, Kanakpur and Kalipur. At present, the Department controls the trade of minor forest produce which has an annual turnover of Rs. 400 crore.
“In order to prevent exploitation of kendu leaf pluckers and to ensure that they get the remunerative price, the government-controlled organisation will, however, continue to accept kendu leaf from persons who are willing to sell their produce at the procurement price,” says the notification.
The DFO Bhawanipatna (kendu leaf) division has been directed to provide adequate number of transit permit books to the gram sabha of the six villages immediately as per their requirement. The authorised representatives of the gram sabha will issue the transit permit, which will be valid for transportation of the leaf.
The gram sabhas of six villages had started the collection of kendu leaf in the first week of May 2017 and had also contacted a trader from Maharashtra. “However, the Forest department did not allow them to sell their produce, saying that the kendu trade is nationalised in the State. Finally, they succumbed to the gram sabha pressure,” said Manohar Chauhan, convenor of the Odisha chapter of the Campaign for Survival Dignity (CSD) .