The tribespeople living in the forests of Nilambur will soon find an online global market for the minor forest produce (MFP) they collect from the jungle. For the first time, people from around the world can lay their hands on the original honey and myrrh collected by the tribespeople of Nilambur.
The online selling facility for Nilambur’s Adivasi MFP will be arranged by the Tourism and Hotel Management Department of Amal College of Advanced Studies, Nilambur. The District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC), Thoduve Community Foundation, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Cell (IEDC) of the Kerala Startup Mission, and Keystone Foundation will help the tribespeople sell their produce online.
The project was launched as part of the World Tourism Day celebrations organised by Amal College. College officials said the project would take the tribal produce to a different level.
The Thoduve Community Centre will procure the forest produce collected by the tribal groups and brand them separately with the objective of selling them to a higher market. The different departments of Amal College and their students will help in areas such as food registration, packing, branding, online marketing, publicity and training.
The college has embarked on a project to develop responsible tourism connecting the tribal hamlets of Nilambur. “It is our responsibility to ensure that the tribespeople get attractive rates for their quality products,” said college Principal T.V. Sakariya. He said the project would indirectly aim at enhancing the living standard of the tribespeople.
The honey from forests will be the most important item on the list of minor forest produce to be sold online. Officials said that a special branding would be made for the honey, which will be a high-value product.
Apart from honey, various pickles made of wild fruits such as gooseberry and mangoes, various wild herbs, millets, and resins such as myrrh will be promoted via online market.
Apart from the college Principal, Karulai panchayat councillor K. Manoj, Tourism and Hotel Management Department head T. Shameer Babu, faculty members N. Shihabuddin, S. Anujit, V.K. Hafees, K.P. Janeesh Babu, Thoduve Community Centre chief executive officer P.K. Shyamjit, and president Baburaj were among those who took part in a discussion held on Wednesday.