PEARL FARMING IN TRIBAL AREAS

Recently, the Trifed (Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India)inked an agreement with the Jharkhand-based Purty Agrotech for the promotion of pearl farming  in tribal areas.

Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India

  • It is a national-level apex organization functioning under the administrative control of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs. It came into existence in 1987.
  • It has its Head Office located in New Delhi and has a network of 13 Regional Offices located at various places in the country.
  • Its main objective 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, etc.
  • It mainly undertakes two functions viz. Minor Forest Produce (MFP) development and Retail Marketing and Development.

Important points:

  • As part of the agreement, Purty Agrotech pearls will be sold through 141 Tribes India outlets, apart from various e-commerce platforms.
  • Purty Agrotech’s centre will be developed into a Van Dhan Vikas Kendra Cluster (VDVKC). Besides, there is a plan to develop 25 such VDVKCs for pearl farming in Jharkhand.
  • VDVKs provide skill upgradation and capacity building training to tribals and setting up of primary processing and value addition facilities.
  • The TRIFED has also signed an MoU with e-grocery platform Big Basket to promote and sell natural ‘Van Dhan’ products.
  • The breeding of oysters and development of pearls is a sustainable mode of business and can be easily practised by tribals who have access to nearby water bodies.
  • It will prove to be game-changers for tribal livelihoods in the times to come.

Pearl Farming:

  • Pearls are the only gemstones in the world that come from a living creature. Mollusks such as oysters and mussels produce these precious jewels that people have adored since ancient times.
  • Pearl oysters are farmed in a number of countries in the world in the production of cultured pearls.
  • Freshwater pearls are pearls that are grown on pearl farms using freshwater mussels. Since mussels are the organic hosts, the pearls can grow up to 10 times bigger than those made by saltwater oysters, naturally. And, the luster freshwater pearls produce is astounding.

Benefits:

  • The income of farmers in India is usually dependent on external factors like climate and this dependence often leads to their losses but on the other hand, Pearl farming is totally independent of these factors and gives one a high amount of profit.
  • Pearl farming is eco-friendly. It provides habitat for fish and improves species diversity.
  • Filter feeder oysters also purify the water. A single oyster clears over 15 gallons of water a day.
  • It accumulates heavy metals from the water, and removes harmful pollutants as well.

SOURCE: THE HINDU,THE ECONOMIC TIMES,MINT

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