Once a mode of exploitation, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Thursday said the minor forest produce has become the core strength of forest dwellers thanks to the state government's schemes.
Baghel was addressing a virtual public dedication and bhoomi pujan event of development works in Gariaband and Kabirdham districts from here, states an official communication.
The total cost of 1,270 works in both the districts is Rs 582 crores. He also interacted with beneficiaries of different schemes.
The Chief Minister said forest dwellers have been given forest land rights and the government has also provided rights to the villages on forest resources.
Earlier, forest produce fell into the hands of middlemen or forest produce traders. Thus, forest dwellers were unable to even procure their basic needs. The state government is now procuring 52 different forest produce on support price.
To augment the income of Panchayats, farmers as well as panch-sarpanch are showing interest to derive benefits from the Chief Minister’s Tree Plantation Incentive Scheme.