The strategic movement One Village One Product (OVOP) was designed specifically for regional development in Japan and implemented in a number of Southern countries, with Kyrgyzstan being first in Central Asia.
The OVOP concept was adopted and indigenized in Kyrgyzstan by Kyrgyz artisans and local producers under coordination of the Ministry of Economy of the Kyrgyz Republic and with support of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) with a vision to increase incomes and wealth of local communities through value addition to local resources, human capacity development and marketing of high value added products, which would be recognized worldwide.
The uniqueness of the OVOP approach is that oriented to achieve economic development in regions and communities by identifying and further production exclusively from local resources, development of packaging design and labels, followed by quality control, as well as the promotion of local and global markets.
Development of the new regional product involved producers, farmers, Committee members and other regional representatives. Producers are not left alone to find new idea and produce something unique; on the contrary, regional people with joint efforts and together with the project support identify available raw materials in the region, look for historically and traditionally known or regionally and culturally specific products.
Today, the OVOP has more than 1,500 members who make up the Association. About 300 - 400 producers annually make jointly felt souvenirs, which are later exported to Japan and through Japan are available worldwide in Muji shops.
- Use of local resources and the generation/stabilization of income of the villagers, the promotion of local production and the acceleration of regional development, and promoting cooperation among the villages in the area of industrial activity. An example is usage of only natural dyes for felt products using herbs growing in Issyk-Kul region such as sainfoin, yarrow, chiy, husks etc. Utilization of those will enable producers to market final products as regionally specific products.
- Encourage and stimulate local people to make own efforts in development and marketing of regional products, which leads to improvement of their life standards.
The OVOP does not provide any financial means and support for raw material procurement or for transportation expenses. All activities of the producers are business based which contributes for their further sustainable and independent management of their activities.
Initially, the project was piloted Issyk-Kul region. The Ministry of Economy intends to scale-up the model in other areas of Kyrgyzstan.
Tajikistan expressed its interest in replicating the model with an initial study-tour in Kyrgyzstan organized by UNDP Tajikistan. The Deputy Minister of Rural Rehabilitation and Development from Afghanistan also took part in it. Such elements as joint efforts of producers and the government institutions, continuous communication and information sharing, selecting proper raw materials, understanding customers’ needs, advancing production technology, improving workshops, developing unique design and well-organized production system play a vital role in replicating the model.
Partners: JICA, the Ministry of Economy of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Authorized Representation of the Central Government in Issyk-Kul Region.
Asel Bogombaeva - Chief Specialist of Strategic Planning and Development, Department, the Ministry of Economy