Prior to Corporation's existence MFP trade was in private hands. They were unconcerned about the plight of MFP collectors in their pursuit for more profits. The Corporation took up trade of MFP (collection/procurement and marketing) as its main objective. This had substantial bearing on tribal economy. The state provided due legitimacy and support to it by promulgating the Gujarat MFP Trade Nationalization Act, 1979. The Article 19 (6) (II), Fundamental Rights and Article 46 Directive Principles of State Policy, Constitution of India provide for this . Through this Act, the trade of four MFPs viz., the Timru leaf, Mahuwa flower, Doli and Gums was denationalized in Gujarat.
Due to PESA Act, Govt.of Gujarat denationalized all 4 MFP’s on 24 May, 2017.
In the wake of 73rd constitutional amendment and the amendment to the Gujarat Panchayats Act in 1998, Corporation now trades in MFP from Scheduled areas on behalf of Gram Panchayats/Sabhas on a no-profit no-loss principle.
Over seventy five MFPs (including the non-nationalized ones) are now being collected. This translates into higher income to tribal close to his homestead during lean period. Currently Corporation is paying over Rs. 1000 lacs annually to primary collectors for procurement. This translates into two million employment days in rural and forest areas.
The business of Minor Forest Produce i.e. Timru leaves, Mahuda Flowers, MahudaDoli and all types of Gums has been nationalized by the State Goverment by passing the Gujarat Minor Forest Produce Trade Nationalization Act, 1979. Under this Act, Gujarat State Forest Development Corporation Ltd. has been appointed as the sole agent of Government to purchase, sell and transport these M.F.P.s in the State. Further, taking resource to Articles 19(I)(9) of the Constitution of India, the Hon'ble High Court of Gujarat has in it's recent verdict upheld the monopolistic position of Corporation for the benefits of tribals. This part, Article 46 of the Constitution enjoins the state to promote the economic interest of the weaker sections of the people particularly the scheduled castes and scheduled tribe to protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation.
Initially, only Timru leaves, Mahuda Flowers, Mahuda Seeds, Gums were collected. Now, in addition, 96 commodities (Non-nationalized M.F.P.s) are also collected. Collection rates have been increased progressively by taking into consideration prevailing market rates, demand and supply of M.F.Ps collection rates of 13 Nationalized M.F.Ps are fixed by the Government on recommendation by the Advisory Committee constituted under Gujarat Minor Forest Produce Trade Nationalization Act, 1979 and published in Government Gazette during December for each calandar year through Notifications and collection rates of Non-nationalized M.F.Ps are fixed by the Managing Director on recommendation of the Technical Committee of the Corporation.
M.F.P. Collection Through Agents
Tribal's Co-operative Societies, FDAs, JFM, NGOs and other induvidual agents are appointed as agents by GSFCDC Ltd. Individual agents are paid 10% commision in addition to the transportaion charges from the collection centre to the godown. One percent extra (i.e. 11%) commission is being paid to Tribal's Co-operative Societies, JFM, FDA's, Van Mandali. M.F.Ps are also collected through Direct Purchase Centres (DPCs) at GSFDCL Ltd. godowns and weekly Bazars through Corporation's staff by paying collection rates and commission charges to the primary collectors.
M.F.P Sale of Gujarat State Forest Development Corporation Limited
After collection, M.F.Ps are stored in Corporation's godowns and sold through traders and if necessary by open auction and negotiations. After two to three attempts of Tender's Sale, M.F.Ps are sold by taking offers from the traders/merchants. Timru Units are sold with notified bags through tender and open auction and after 3-4 attempts of tender sale, un-sold Timru Units are worked departmentally. Timru Leaves, thus collected are sold by tender and open auction.