One Village One Product (OVOP) and its role in economic Development

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The origin of OVOP can be traced all the way to 1979 when Dr. Moriho Hiramatsu was elected the Govenor of Oita State in Japan. Dr. Hiramatsu was planning to use this model to encourage his subjects to make local citizens to take great pride in Oita and live in the Prefecture for the long-term. The Prefecture of Oita is just like any one of the counties in Kenya. In his vision, every village in Oita state was to be associated with one product. This product was to be made through adding value to the available local resources and as a result make it globally appealing. Value addition was achieved through processing, sales as well as marketing. 

One Village One Product (ovop)

The aim of this model was and still remains to achieve great socio-economic development through value addition to the locally available resources. 
OVOP model is based on three main pillars: 

a) Think Globally, act locally

OVOP is all about using locally available raw materials to make high-end products which can be sold on the global markets. The aim of this model is to create products which are unique to a particular country or even county.  
OVOP aims at empowering local communities to product high quality products for the global market. 

Photo: OVOP officials at the Nyangorora Banana Processors Stand at the Nairobi International Show. 

Some of the local companies that have gained from OVOP activities include: Nyangorora Banana Processors from Nyamira county but most of its processing activities are domiciled to Kisii County. This is a youth owned company that adds value to bananas. Banana is one of the most easily found resource in the larger Kisii Community. The company started out as a youth group back in 2004.  

b) Self-Reliance and Creativity

OVOP is the right model that will be adopted in order to spur economic development in the rural areas. It is not the officials from the government to decide what villages have to produce. The villagers are the ones with a mandate to decide on what to specialize.

C) Human Resource Development 

 OVOP’s main objective is human resource development. This has created new ways of processing, trading and entrepreneurship.
The OVOP program was first adopted in Japan but now it has spread globally. In China they call it One Factory One Product, in Thailand it is known as One Tambon One Product and in Philippines it is One Town One Product.   
In Africa, the One Village One Product has been introduced in Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Senegal, Mozambique, Rwanda, Uganda, Madagascar, Ethiopia and Zambia.


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Geoffrey Kerosi is a prolific Kenyan writer based in Nairobi City. Email: Skype: gkerosi Whatsapp: +254713 639 776 YouTube: Kerosi TV

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