Skip to main content
Sabrang
Sabrang
Health Farm and Forest

MHA exempts MFP and NTFP from lockdown

Issues further lockdown guidelines related to agriculture, horticulture, plantations, financial sector and construction activities

Sabrangindia 17 Apr 2020

coronavirus

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued a fresh order in connection with the lockdown. This is in addition to the fresh set of guidelines issued on April 15 after Prime Minister Modi extended the national lockdown to May 3.

The latest order issued on April 16 by the MHA exempts certain activities under the consolidated revised guidelines to all Ministries and Departments. The order exempts from lockdown restrictions certain activities as below:

  • Collection, harvesting and processing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP)/ Non-timber Forest Produce (NTFP) by Scheduled Tribes and other forest dwellers in forest areas.

  • Bamboo, coconut, arecanut, cocoa, spices plantations and their harvesting, processing, packaging, sale and marketing.

  • Non-banking financial institutions (NBFCs) including Housing Finance Companies (HFCs) and Micro Finance Companies (NBFC--MFIs), with bare minimum staff.

  • Cooperative Credit Societies.

  • Construction activities in rural areas to include water supply and sanitation, laying/erection of power transmission lines and laying of telecom optical fiber and cable along with related activities.

The entire order may be read here: 

This new order is a shot in the arm for adivasis and forest dwellers who engage in collecting and harvesting forest produce for a living. According to Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) that comes under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA), “Minor Forest Produces provide both subsistence and cash income for people who live in or near forests. They form a major portion of their food, fruits, medicines and other consumption items and also provide cash income through sale. Minor Forest Produce (MFP) starts with the word “Minor” but is a major source of livelihood for tribals who belong to the poorest of the poor section of society. The Minor Forest Produce has significant economic and social value for the forest dwellers as an estimated 100 Million people derive their source of livelihood from the collection and marketing of Minor Forest Produce.”

The relaxation in lockdown norms vis-s-vis forest produce is also significant for another reason. According to Business Standard there are reports that the government is expected to increase the minimum support price (MSP) of minor forest produce by 16-30 per cent. It also says that not only will be the MSP of existing minor forest produce increased but new products that include cardamom, turmeric, ginger, van tulsi, van jeera, and raw bamboo might be added to the basket so that cash reaches the vulnerable tribal communities during the COVID-19 lockdown.

What comprises Forest Produce and Minor Forest Produce

According to Section 2(4) of the Indian Forest Act 1927, forest produce as those products whether found in, or brought from a forest such as:

  1. timber, charcoal, caoutchouc, catechu, wood-oil, resin, natural varnish, bark, lac, mahua flowers, mahua seeds, kuth and myrabolams,
  2. trees and leaves, flowers and fruits, and all other parts or produce of trees,
  3. plants not being trees (including grass, creepers, reeds and moss), and all parts or produce of such plants,
  4. wild animals and skins, tusks, horns, bones, silk, cocoons, honey and wax, and all other parts or produce of animals, and
  5. peat, surface soil, rock and minerals (including lime-stone, laterite, mineral oils), and all products of mines or quarries;


Meanwhile, Minor Forest Produce (MFP) is a part of forest produce. It got a definition only in 2007 when the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, was enacted. Section 2(i) of the said Act defines a Minor Forest Produce (MFP) as all non-timber forest produce of plant origin and includes bamboo, brushwood, stumps, canes, Tusser, cocoon, honey, waxes, Lac, tendu/kendu leaves, medicinal plants and herbs, roots, tuber and the like.

Sabrang India’s sister organisation Citizens for Justice and Pease (CJP) has been working closely with adivasis and forest dwelling communities to help them get their right to forest land as per provisions of the Forest Rights Act, 2006. At present our intervention application with respect to the FRA case has been admitted by the Supreme Court. You can read more about CJP’s work in the field of forest rights here.

MHA exempts MFP and NTFP from lockdown

Issues further lockdown guidelines related to agriculture, horticulture, plantations, financial sector and construction activities

coronavirus

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued a fresh order in connection with the lockdown. This is in addition to the fresh set of guidelines issued on April 15 after Prime Minister Modi extended the national lockdown to May 3.

The latest order issued on April 16 by the MHA exempts certain activities under the consolidated revised guidelines to all Ministries and Departments. The order exempts from lockdown restrictions certain activities as below:

  • Collection, harvesting and processing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP)/ Non-timber Forest Produce (NTFP) by Scheduled Tribes and other forest dwellers in forest areas.

  • Bamboo, coconut, arecanut, cocoa, spices plantations and their harvesting, processing, packaging, sale and marketing.

  • Non-banking financial institutions (NBFCs) including Housing Finance Companies (HFCs) and Micro Finance Companies (NBFC--MFIs), with bare minimum staff.

  • Cooperative Credit Societies.

  • Construction activities in rural areas to include water supply and sanitation, laying/erection of power transmission lines and laying of telecom optical fiber and cable along with related activities.

The entire order may be read here: 

This new order is a shot in the arm for adivasis and forest dwellers who engage in collecting and harvesting forest produce for a living. According to Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) that comes under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA), “Minor Forest Produces provide both subsistence and cash income for people who live in or near forests. They form a major portion of their food, fruits, medicines and other consumption items and also provide cash income through sale. Minor Forest Produce (MFP) starts with the word “Minor” but is a major source of livelihood for tribals who belong to the poorest of the poor section of society. The Minor Forest Produce has significant economic and social value for the forest dwellers as an estimated 100 Million people derive their source of livelihood from the collection and marketing of Minor Forest Produce.”

The relaxation in lockdown norms vis-s-vis forest produce is also significant for another reason. According to Business Standard there are reports that the government is expected to increase the minimum support price (MSP) of minor forest produce by 16-30 per cent. It also says that not only will be the MSP of existing minor forest produce increased but new products that include cardamom, turmeric, ginger, van tulsi, van jeera, and raw bamboo might be added to the basket so that cash reaches the vulnerable tribal communities during the COVID-19 lockdown.

What comprises Forest Produce and Minor Forest Produce

According to Section 2(4) of the Indian Forest Act 1927, forest produce as those products whether found in, or brought from a forest such as:

  1. timber, charcoal, caoutchouc, catechu, wood-oil, resin, natural varnish, bark, lac, mahua flowers, mahua seeds, kuth and myrabolams,
  2. trees and leaves, flowers and fruits, and all other parts or produce of trees,
  3. plants not being trees (including grass, creepers, reeds and moss), and all parts or produce of such plants,
  4. wild animals and skins, tusks, horns, bones, silk, cocoons, honey and wax, and all other parts or produce of animals, and
  5. peat, surface soil, rock and minerals (including lime-stone, laterite, mineral oils), and all products of mines or quarries;


Meanwhile, Minor Forest Produce (MFP) is a part of forest produce. It got a definition only in 2007 when the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, was enacted. Section 2(i) of the said Act defines a Minor Forest Produce (MFP) as all non-timber forest produce of plant origin and includes bamboo, brushwood, stumps, canes, Tusser, cocoon, honey, waxes, Lac, tendu/kendu leaves, medicinal plants and herbs, roots, tuber and the like.

Sabrang India’s sister organisation Citizens for Justice and Pease (CJP) has been working closely with adivasis and forest dwelling communities to help them get their right to forest land as per provisions of the Forest Rights Act, 2006. At present our intervention application with respect to the FRA case has been admitted by the Supreme Court. You can read more about CJP’s work in the field of forest rights here.

Related Articles

Sunday

03

Jan

Pan-India

Saturday

05

Dec

05 pm onwards

Rise in Rage!

North Gate, JNU campus

Thursday

26

Nov

10 am onwards

Delhi Chalo

Pan India

Theme

Stop Hate

Hate and Harmony in 2021

A recap of all that transpired across India in terms of hate speech and even outright hate crimes, as well as the persecution of those who dared to speak up against hate. This disturbing harvest of hate should now push us to do more to forge harmony.
Taliban 2021

Taliban in Afghanistan: A look back

Communalism Combat had taken a deep dive into the lives of people of Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. Here we reproduce some of our archives documenting the plight of hapless Afghanis, especially women, who suffered the most under the hardline regime.
2020

Milestones 2020

In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.

Campaigns

Sunday

03

Jan

Pan-India

Saturday

05

Dec

05 pm onwards

Rise in Rage!

North Gate, JNU campus

Thursday

26

Nov

10 am onwards

Delhi Chalo

Pan India

IN FACT

Analysis

Stop Hate

Hate and Harmony in 2021

A recap of all that transpired across India in terms of hate speech and even outright hate crimes, as well as the persecution of those who dared to speak up against hate. This disturbing harvest of hate should now push us to do more to forge harmony.
Taliban 2021

Taliban in Afghanistan: A look back

Communalism Combat had taken a deep dive into the lives of people of Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. Here we reproduce some of our archives documenting the plight of hapless Afghanis, especially women, who suffered the most under the hardline regime.
2020

Milestones 2020

In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.

Archives