Chhimi Dema 

Menjong Sorig has introduced smart herb drier project with support from the Republic of Korea through a project called Intellectual Property (IP) Sharing Project.

The IP Sharing Project, facilitated by the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) with its implementing partner Korean Invention Promotion Association (KIPA), aims to facilitate sustainable economic growth and improve the quality of life in developing and least developed countries through the use of patent information.

From four competing countries, Bhutan’s Menjong Sorig was selected for the smart herb dryer project in February this year.

Menjong Sorig’s chief executive officer, Thukten Choeda, said: “Because of small economy, Bhutan has to capitalise on the branding.”

He said that the IP project promoted brand through marketing, giving it an advantage while competing in the international market.

“These new drying machines improve the mechanisation of drying herbs ensuring its quality,” Thukten Choeda said, adding that it encouraged local communities to bring the herbs to Menjong Sorig directly.

Two machines will be installed in Thimphu and one in Lingzhi.

The IP project has also developed herb management system.

Thukten Choeda said that managing about 200 herbs used in the production of medicines was challenging.

“Now, with the database management system, the collection of herbs will be easy,” Thukten Choeda said. “The management system will ease coordination with local communities.”

The system will keep track of the individual herb collectors and location of the collection.

Company logo design and packaging of the products were developed and redesigned through the project.

Ministry of Economic Affairs’ chief intellectual property officer, Tempa Tshering, said that through IP projects the ministry hoped to encourage the technological integration in businesses and individual mass production units as mandated by the intellectual property policy.

He said: “The intellectual property department helps to shape the project. KIPO gives the company support to develop their technological needs to the branding of the products.”

Herb drying project is the first project through IP Sharing Project in the country.