ODOP Development Study in Nepal
An overview and commentary by The Spice Journal
The ODOP study in Nepal (a development concept originating in Japan) was undertaken by Agro Enterprise Centre (AEC) an NGO floated by the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI).
The focus of the report is not specifically about spice; in fact only four spices (ginger, cardamom, turmeric, and timmur) are identified as having a significant impetus for economic development in Nepal, and that impetus is focused on less than ten per cent of the geographical districts identified by the report.
Likewise the ODOP study identified only six districts as having economic development potential in Herbal Production and Herbal processing.
Nevertheless The Spice Journal has published the entire ODOP report (available by clicking on the tab at the bottom of this page) even though we believe that spices, particularly spices harvested and processed in the form of essential oils and oleoresins, have significantly more economic potential in Nepal than the ODOP report envisions.
It is noteworthy to mention that the Department of Export Agriculture – Small Crops Division, of Sri Lanka, has commissioned a similar study but perhaps with more focus on spices and herbs. That study will no-doubt consider the benefit of greater distillation of spices and herbs into essential oils and oleoresins; both which are in greater demand by the international markets.
Is it coincidence that both Nepal and Sri Lanka have commissioned similar studies concurrently, or is it a general awakening of the knowledge that international markets demand quality products, and that they are willing to pay a premium to procure them.
Perhaps a result of these studies in both countries will place more emphasis on regulation, standardization, packaging, branding, and competitive realization of export channels, independent of India.
The study in Sri Lanka is being compiled by The University of Peradiniya, and ably marshaled by Professor Buddhi Marambe. The Spice Journal has been following that study since its inception, and hopefully will have access to the final report in the coming weeks.
The Spice Journal is likewise eager to receive and publish other reports, from other spice producing countries, with the purpose of disseminating knowledge garnered by every region, stimulating healthy discussions and exchange of ideas, and enhancing the best interests of the spice industry at large.