In a bid to economically empower the tribal communities of Manipur, state Chief Minister N Biren Singh along with the chairman of Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Ramesh Chand Meena launched the ‘Van Dhan’ scheme in Manipur.

The ‘Van Dhan’ scheme is an initiative that targets livelihood generation for tribal people by harnessing the wealth of forest products. The Ministry of Tribal Affairs plans to set up a total of 74 Van Dhan Kendras in the state.

As a start, the state government will be opening 16 Van Dhan kendras out of 74 and a total of Rs 45 lakh has been sanctioned for the first leg of the scheme.

Meanwhile, chief minister N Biren Singh said 8 non-timber forest products will be put in trade. He also plans to initiate steps toward wiping out poppy cultivation in hilly areas by introducing a replacement.