Rapid assessment of impact of MSP on MFP collectors in Madhya Pradesh


The Madhya Pradesh MP State Minor Forest Produce (Trade & Development) Cooperative Federation Ltd, Bhopal vide letter No. MFP/TF/2022/2582 dated 21 February 2022 extended the invitation to take up a study on ‘Rapid assessment of impact of MSP on MFP collectors in Madhya Pradesh’ to Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM). Accordingly, a study proposal was prepared by IIFM and mutual consultations were held, based on which the research proposal was finalized.

The majority of rural households in developing countries depend on diverse forest derived products to meet some part of their nutritional, health, house construction, or other needs (Shackleton et al., 2015). The Minor Forest Produce (MFPs) can also be referred to all the resources or products that may be extracted from the forest ecosystem and are utilized within the household or are marketed or have social, cultural, or religious significance (Marshall et al., 2003). The importance of MFPs in rural livelihoods in developing countries has been widely acknowledged.

In the Indian context, MFPs are associated with the socio-economic and cultural life of forest-dependent communities inhabiting in wide ecological and geo-climatic conditions in different concentrations throughout the country (Anonymous, 2009; Pandey and Bisaria, 1998). Tribal livelihood systems vary considerably between different regions as also among the various ethnic groups, depending on ecological, historical, and cultural factors. These tribal communities largely occupy the forest regions since time immemorial, living in relative isolation from mainstream life, maintaining harmony, and a symbiotic relationship with nature.

The MFPs also serve as a vital livelihood safety net in the time of hardship. Collection of MFPs by communities primarily for meeting their subsistence needs it varies from state to state ranging from 5.4-55% in the country. In Manipur alone, a Northeastern state of India, nearly 90% of the population depends on forest products as a major source and some 250000 women are employed in collecting forest products. In the Bastar district of Chhattisgarh, about 75% of forest-dependent people supplement their food by tubers, flowers, and fruits all year-round. As per the Government of India report, at least 35 million person-days of employment were generated in the MFPs trading which includes collection and processing of economically valuable MFP species. Studies have revealed that MFPs provide substantial inputs to the livelihoods of forest-dependent populations, many of whom have limited non-agricultural income opportunities (Pandey et al., 2016). It is estimated that 275 million poor rural people in India i.e., 27% of the total population, depend on MFPs for at least part of their subsistence and cash for livelihood. This dependency is particularly intense for half of India’s 89 million tribal people, the most disadvantaged section of society, who live in forest fringe areas. About 70% of the MFP collection in India takes place in the tribal belt of the country, whereas, 55% of employment in the forestry sector is attributed to the MFP sector. While MFP collection is a major source of income and employment for forest dwellers, it holds a multi-fold impact on the economy through downstream processing and trading activities (Mallik, 2000).

Presently, MFPs are receiving importance because their management can help in creating more employment and income-generating opportunities to the socio-economically downtrodden communities. Gathering MFPs from the local forest by indigenous people or tribes can be traced thousands of years ago (Ticktin, 2004). Many tribal communities are wholly dependent on the forest for food, shelter, medicine, and clothing. It is a well- established fact that most tribal live in forested regions and their livelihood is either partly or fully derived from gathering from forests (Johnson et al., 2013).

The Ministry of Tribal Affairs has advised the States Governments to undertake procurement of MFPs as per the Minimum Support Price (MSP). In the state of Madhya Pradesh thirty-two Minor Forest Producing species/items have been included in the list of MSP for MFP procurement scheme. The proposed study will be undertaken to assess the impact of declaration of MSP for MFP in Madhya Pradesh. It is expected that the MSP provides a floor price for procurement of MFPs by private and governmental entities. The assumption herein is that awareness about the minimum floor price would lead to better sale price realization for the collectors leading to better welfare outcomes for the collectors.


The broad purpose of the proposed research is to assess impact of MSP rates on procurement of 32 MFP species at the circle level, at the collector household level in Madhya Pradesh using rapid assessment approach.

Study Approach

Forest circle wise key MFP species will be identified from the assigned 32 MFP species for the study. The distribution of MFP in diversity and volume is not even and differ from circle to circle in the state of Madhya Pradesh. Eight to ten forest circles for the study will be identified in consultation with the MP MFP Federation. One experienced retired forest official will be identified for each sample circle and will be engaged to cover 3-4 forest divisions/ districts. The research methodology would be a combination of household level interviews, village level Focused Group Discussions and secondary data collection.
The rapid assessment of impact of MSP rates will be ascertained in terms of trends in quantum of sale/procurement of MFP at household. The study is a rapid appraisal of the impact of declaration of MSP on the quantum of sale/procurement and the money realized by the households engaged in collection. Therefore, appropriate sampling at the Range, village and household level (within the
Ranges) will be undertaken.

  1. Range Level: The total quantum of procurement by the Forest Dept. agencies will be ascertained by the records maintained by the relevant Procurement Office. These will have to be scrutinized for relevant years before and after the declaration of MSP. While it may be contended that declaration of MSP has led to a floor rate for procurement by private traders, the quantum of such buying and prices offered by private traders from the collectors is difficult to obtain as there may be very few traders/procurers willing to reveal their records. Overcoming such data gaps is important for the study and is hoped to be achieved by primary level data collection at the collector household level.
  2. Household Level: The collector households are also not expected to keep detailed records of sale quantum and rates realized historically. Thus, while we may not have reliable records available at the household level, self-reported recall is the only way left for us to obtain any meaningful data at this level. Among the items of information sought at the household level would be their recall of species, quantum and prices at which MFP were sold to government agencies as well as private traders. Several techniques of eliciting the quantum and proportions sold are available and would be pilot tested for effectiveness and ease of obtaining information. Also, while the study would not be deriving the proportion of household income attributable to MFP sales, it is important to record the views of adequately sampled households qualitatively. Hence select households would be
    interviewed at length for such enabling stories to be highlighted as part of the impact. Appropriate interview schedules will be drawn up and pilot tested at the household level.
  3. Village Level: Triangulation of information gleaned from the households and traders can be achieved at the village level through Focus Group Discussions. A clearer picture about quantum and rates can emerge when historical trends are discussed in a group. Appropriate open ended questions will be formulated to elicit such information. Also, the collective views of the villagers engaged in collection and sale, regarding key working of the MSP related aspects would help further refine the understanding of the impact of declaration of MSP for MFP.

Team Members

Dr Manmohan Yadav, Professor & Dean, Faculty of Marketing Management (Team Leader)
Dr Ashish David, Faculty of Sociology and Community Development
Dr Advait Edgaonkar, Faculty of Ecosystem & Environment Management
Ms Asha Khanna, Faculty of IT & QT
Dr Dharmendra Dugaya, Research Assistant, Centre for SFM & FC