Community-Corporate Linkage in Gadchiroli
Gram Sabhas in business with the Paper & Pulp Industry
In Gadchiroli, a community federation of 90 villages with Community Forest rights titles has achieved a million-dollar turnover by managing the sale of Seasonal Forest Products like bamboo. Gram Sabhas focused on building organizational skills to optimize collection, processing, and marketing, cautiously experimenting with digital transactions for labor payments to formalize their business.
Gadchiroli district contributes to more than 85% of the total bamboo production in the state. After the recognition of Community Forest Resource rights in the district, Gram Sabhas were able to increase their earnings from the sale of bamboo by selling the produce directly to Ballarpur Industries Limited (BILT), a large corporate buyer of bamboo in Gadchiroli.
The system of direct procurement has resulted in multiple benefits to both communities and the corporation. For BILT, community market linkages reduced transactional costs (including hidden costs) and enabled the company to increase the quantity of bamboo procurement from the district. The Gram Sabhas were not only able to increase their earning from the sale of bamboo, owing to the power of collective bargaining, but also establish a forest economy that is inclusive, empowering, and efficient.
Paper mills in Maharashtra are now directly facilitating the process of securing tenure rights and developing micro-plans for resource management in more than 20 Community Forest Rights areas in two districts of southeast Maharashtra.