To share the experience of the successful implementation of ‘One Tambon One Product’ (OTOP) in Thailand, the Mekong Institute (MI) organized a 5-day online training program for relevant national government officials and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to support the promotion and development of ‘One Commune One Product’ (OCOP) in Vietnam on March 28 to April 1, 2022.
Part of the eight-month capacity building program on ‘The Technical Assistance for Community Development in Mekong Subregion’ funded by the AEM-METI Economic and Industrial Cooperation Committee (AMEICC) Secretariat, the training engaged 20 representatives from public and private sectors who are working on promoting agri-food OCOP products, particularly processed tea.
Thailand has adopted the ‘One Village One Product’ (OVOP) concept of Japan, which turned into OTOP and has been successful throughout the country. The training series aims to transfer knowledge and technical assistance from Thailand to Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Vietnam to hopefully replicate the benefits from Thailand’s OTOP success.
In her welcome remarks, Ms. Maria Theresa S. Medialdia, Director of Agricultural Development and Commercialization (ADC) Department of MI, emphasized the main goal of the training course, which is “to improve SMEs’ capacity to produce higher value-added products for the market with the hope of improving the rural areas through OCOP development.” She added that through the capacity building initiative “the OCOP entities from Vietnam become more competitive in the market by improving their practices in food processing and applying appropriate technologies that will maintain product quality and prolong the shelf-life of the processed products.”
She also stressed the importance of inviting government officials to attend the training to ensure continuous government support in this initiative. Addressing the participating government officials, she hoped that they “find this training interesting and useful in your efforts to promote OCOP in Vietnam.” She added that “community products have played an important role in improving rural economies in many countries and we hope that the OCOP efforts in Vietnam will do the same.”
The national program on OCOP of Vietnam has been implemented since 2018 in 63 provinces nationwide, with 2,839 enterprises involved. Among the numerous targeted OCOP agro-products, tea has high potential in terms of production and market expansion.
The 5-day training program was designed to enhance the participant’s knowledge and skills on entrepreneurship and management, product processing and packaging technologies, food safety and market access, and product branding and marketing.
The Thai experts invited come from the Department of Community Development of the Ministry of Interior and Doi Tung Tea Farm Community Enterprise in Chiang Rai while the local resource persons were from the National Target Program for New Rural Development, School of Management for Agriculture and Rural Development II, Hanoi University of Science and Technology, Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, and BIT Group.
Participants will later implement their action plan to the OCOP improvement in their respective establishments and provinces. This is an initial step towards an advanced coaching program that helps these potential OCOP enterprises plan and achieve their business goals.