Products made out of raw materials from forests should be aggressively marketed as organic and healthy, Maharashtra Forest Minister Sanjay Rathod said. The minister on Thursday inaugurated the first retail outlet of Vanamrut, a livelihood project of women’s self-help group, in Nagpur, a release stated.
The collection of free non-timber forest produce (NTFP) is being carried out by mahila bachat guts (women’s groups) through an agreement with village-level joint forest management committees, it was stated.
Earlier, most NTFPs were sold to middlemen, yielding low returns and unsustainable collection caused destruction of forests, the minister said.
The long-term solution to these problems was to provide livelihood opportunities to local women based on forests resources under the project, he said.
“Vanamrut products should reach malls, airports and the forest department can also tie up with big retail chains and make them available online,” Rathod said.
As raw materials used in these products are sourced from forests, they should be aggressively marketed as organic and healthy, he added.