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Abstract, Technoserve, 2018 August

Large swathes of central India remain thickly forested, especially in the states of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. Living in small hamlets, the Adivasis – the indigenous people of the region – are mostly marginal farmers, depending on rain-fed agriculture for one season, then earning additional income from non-timber forest products (NTFP) or government employment schemes throughout the rest of the year. Situated far from trading hubs and markets, these communities have historically depended on middlemen and – lacking direct access to markets themselves –  have often been short-changed, receiving little income for their hard work and production.

As part of the National Rural Livelihoods Mission of the Government of India, TechnoServe has been developing commodity value chains and market linkages in association with government agencies in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. Through this initiative, TechnoServe is setting up Value Chain Support Cells (VCSC) for the sustainable development of the agricultural, livestock, and non-timber forest products value chains. These VCSC create market linkages and provide technical assistance, capacity-building services and handholding support to State Rural Livelihood Missions (SRLMs) working in these sectors, with the objective of creating profitable, bankable, and self-sustaining commodity chains.