One Gewog One Product Shop in Thimphu

OGOP benefits more than 100 farmers’ groups in 80 gewogs

One Gewog One Product (OGOP), is an initiative under the aegis of the Queen’s Project, that aims to uplift the livelihoods of farmers in rural communities. Since its launch in 2015, OGOP has benefited more than 100 farmers’ groups and households in 80 gewogs.

OGOP promotes the production of value-added goods, made with local wisdom, tradition, and utilization of community resources, and strives to develop sustainable and environmentally conscious systems of production.

In 2019 alone, OGOP purchased more than 35 MT of goods worth Nu 20.1 million from farmers across the country- an increase by almost 100 percent from 2018. The project achieved remarkable outcome, in terms of strengthening value chains for more than 100 authentic Bhutanese products, bringing them to the standards of international market.

 Within a few years of its operation, OGOP’s products were recognized for its assured quality and presentable packaging. However, the market coverage was confined to domestic, and plans to venture into international market were affected by the global pandemic.

Although demands were being placed from many countries, like Singapore, Japan, Thailand, USA and Australia, the transportation and shipment continuous to be a major challenge. The small quantity and scale of raw materials and finished products, and short shelf-life of agricultural products is aggravated by poor transportation and logistics systems.

In response to these challenges, OGOP wishes to explore opening up its depot in the border towns, and explore other alternatives through neighboring countries. OGOP agreed to be the key merchant for Bhutan E-Commerce Portal, an online portal by RMA and BoB to sell Bhutanese products.

A Program Officer, OGOP, Pema Lhaden, said that OGOP is a flagship project which helps farmers by supporting value addition of products, collection, packaging, marketing, and export of rural produce.

“We provides assistance in all phases of the production cycle, from sourcing raw materials, product creation and diversification, value chain improvements, package design, manufacturing, testing, quality assurance, certification, standardization, marketing, sales and distribution,” she said.

With support from partner agencies, OGOP conducts trainings on sustainable use and management of natural resources, group and cooperative formation and sensitization, social enterprise development, technical needs assessment, post-harvest management, as well as practical trainings on product development, alongside providing mechanization assistance to farmers across Bhutan.

“More than half of the Bhutanese populations are farmers, who till the land or rear livestock. The farming communities of Bhutan are the repositories of Bhutan’s agricultural wealth, but a major portion of the nation’s poverty is prevalent in rural Bhutan. Agricultural farming has largely been subsistence based, which is gradually being geared towards commercial farming. The access to market and capacity constraints, however, has been the main bottlenecks for communities to prosper,” she said.

OGOP supports community development and the enhancement of the private sector, with a focus on rural grassroots economies. OGOP has created a niche market of authentic Bhutanese food products and enabled the growth of small and cottage agribusinesses, and farming cooperatives and communities.

OGOP is modeled on the One Tambon One Product (OTOP) of Thailand, and borrows from its best practices. OGOP was inaugurated on 11 November 2015, and had 60 authentic Bhutanese products, coinciding with the 60th Birth Anniversary of His Majesty The Fourth King.

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