One Gewog One Product to empower communities

Gewog: Sixty different products of art and craft, agriculture and dairy, herbs, packaged food, spices, and pickles among others were launched as a part of the One Gewog One Product (OGOP) organized by the Queen’s Project office.

The 60 products gathered from 60 gewogs will act as a sample to show what Bhutanese can produce and sell idea to other farmers. The launch was dedicated to the 60th birth anniversary that signify the path to self-sufficiency.

The products are made from local materials, with consideration of environmental, social, economic, and legal concerns with regard to materials and processes.

Kishuthara from Khoma gewog in Lhuentse is one of the products. It has new patterns especially designed to commemorate the 60th birth anniversary. It is sold at a minimum of Nu 80,000.

Once famous for their excellence in sword making, a blacksmith from Wochu in Paro displayed swords worth between Nu 3,000 and Nu 300,000. As only the last three blacksmiths sustain the art, it is now being revived through this project.

Likewise, a group from Trashiyangtse has Shazo or woodwork and people of Zhemgang and Kangpara showcased Tshazo or cane and bamboo work.

OGOP aims to enhance indigenous work and make them available in domestic and international markets, thus, improving the livelihood of rural people.

Zimponwom Tashi from the Queen’s Project office said the project is to empower communities in managing their resources for the better livelihood by promoting indigenous art, craft and food items leading to creation of economic opportunities and employment in rural area by linking local producers with domestic and international market.

“It is also to explore possibilities of getting better prices for the local products through value addition, packaging and entry into high end markets,” said Zimponwom Tashi.

Deriving from the areas of interest and concerns of Her Majesty the Gyaltsuen, the Queen’s Project Office focuses its efforts on rural livelihood, nature and environment, art and culture, differently-abled people and youth engagement, he said.

The feasibility study of OGOP was conducted by the Thailand International Cooperation Agency in 2014 and found to be the best suited for enhancement of rural economy.

The project is implemented by a committee under Queen’s Project, and aims to support economic development and strengthen grassroots economy by mobilizing resources to add value to unique products made with local wisdom, values, culture, and community resources, and encourages village communities to improve product quality and marketing.

The OGOP committee comprises members from Queen’s Project, agriculture and forests, and economic affairs ministries, Gross National Happiness Commission, Agency for Promotion of Indigenous Crafts, Tourism Council of Bhutan, Food Corporation of Bhutan, and Paro dzongkhag.

Alongside the launch of OGOP, a food festival began featuring iconic dishes from 20 dzongkhags. Trongsa Penlop Thundrel Club and BBS organized the event.

The OGOP shop and food festival, as well as other festivities at the Coronation Park will close today.

Tenzin Namgyel

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