CM asks industries to do value addition to small forest produce

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Sunday promised that his government will provide all possible help to industries doing value addition to small forest produce and forest medicines.

This will not only benefit the forest dweller, but the industrialists and businessmen too, Baghel told a group of businessmen from Bastar, Dhamtari, Mahasamund, Kanker and Balod at his residence cum office.

The Chief Minister said that most industrialists and traders of Chhattisgarh now buy small forest produce and supply them to big companies. If they added value to the produce, it will become a win-win affair for everyone.

The locals will get employment, traders will reap good profit and the government will earn more revenue.

If the industrialists and traders going for value addition faced any problem, the government will help overcome the hiccups, he promised.

The Chief Minister also suggested that the industrialists and businessmen provide work in their factories to local collectors.

Some 44 percent of the land area in Chhattisgarh is covered by forests.

Baghel said that during the Covid-19 induced lockdown, about 99 percent of the country’s minor forest produce was collected and purchased in Chhattisgarh.

Women from women self-help groups got a large number of jobs.

During this time, around 90 percent of the steel in the country was supplied from Chhattisgarh.

The state government has decided to get bamboo harvested through locals, leading to the first bamboo harvesting in Bhopalpatnam in 20 years.

The Chief Minister said that technology has to be developed for plucking Amla and Chironji without damaging their trees so that they remain alive.

At the discussion, industrialists outlined the various problems faced by them. Baghel promised to give serious consideration to their issues.