Launch of One Gewog One Product
n a move to beef up the government’s plan of one Gewog one product ( OGOP), the initiative was inaugurated under the aegis of Queen’s project. Presiding the inauguration coinciding with the 60th Birth anniversary of the Fourth king, Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay said ‘’It is important that people living in various gewogs of Bhutan work hard towards attending selfsufficiency and that can be done by producing products using the available raw materials in the region’’ to the guests gathered at the centenary park on Monday.
There were sixty products of art and craft, agriculture and dairy, herbs, packaged food, spices and pickles from 60 different Gewogs.
One Gewog one product is any product that is made with local raw materials using traditional skills. The Bhutanese idea of one Gewog one product is derived from the Japanese idea of one village one product. It was not until last year that one Gewog one product gained importance after the queen’s project took over in Bhutan. One Gewog one product was initially called one Gewog three product.
The objective of OGOP is to empower community in managing their resource for promoting indigenous or local products including arts, crafts, culture and tradition leading to opportunity and employment in rural area by linking local producers with domestic and international market. The objective can be achieved by proper packaging and market- ing for which the launch of OGOP was formally launched and the display of various arts and crafts continued for three days. The marketing of the products aren’t limited to tourists like it always has been. In fact the project is initiated mainly to encourage locals to buy and use local products for their own good. ‘’ The project will not only add to the incomes of the rural people, but will also be a source of employment for youths in years to come, ‘’ said Kezang chhoephel, the Chief Executive Officer with the agency for promotion of indigenous crafts.
The participants included one representative or two in some cases from each Gewog from every district in the country. Each Gewog had different products to sell. The project seemed to have brought a ray of hope for some of the sellers. ‘’ The sale of wood product wasn’t good in recent years due to emergence of many similar kind of businesses in the region, however now I am hopeful that I will be able to get to sell my products well due to this project. Today I am so happy that I could actually sell many products, ‘’ Said Tashi Dema, a residence of Trashi Yangtse who have come all the way to Thimphu to sell her wood products.
Jigme Tshewang, a graduate from Sherubtse College representing Lauri Gewog under Samdrup Jongkhar told BT that he was more than happy to be a part of the project. He said that he felt the urgency to revive the traditional practice of garzo stone work in his village and he could do that only through OGOP. ‘’ I believe that this prac- tice will now be known to many people and will sell well in the market for it is unique practice’’.
Members from Queen’s project, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Gross National Happiness commission, Agency for promotion of indigenous crafts, Tourism council of Bhutan and Paro Dzongkhag organised the progam.
Besides the launch of OGOP, a food festival featuring delicacies from 20 Dzongkhags offered people choices to taste different foods from different Dzongkhags.
The OGOP and food festival concluded on 13th of November.
His Excellency the Prime Minister launched the opening, and ministers, senior government officials, Members of Parliament, and other dignitaries attended.