Gangtok: Taking up the responsibility of the One District One Product (ODOP) initiative as envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Sikkim listed over 15 products (subject to increase) from the state’s six districts. The list of products includes GI tag products such as Dalle chillies and large cardamom staple to Sikkim along with other agricultural products, fisheries, floriculture, tourism and ‘pharma-related’ products from Sikkim.
In the ODOP Sampark event organised by Invest India–a national investment promotion and facilitation agency along with the state’s commerce and industries department on Friday–various entrepreneurs from the state were invited for discussions.
Speaking on the ODOP, the state’s commerce and industries secretary Karma R. Bonpo said, “Pharmaceutical products are produced abundantly in Sikkim. There are many industries in the three districts of Pakyong, Gangtok and Namchi where these industries exist. We wish to include these pharmaceutical products as part of Brand Sikkim, despite industrialisation being in the nascent stage here in Sikkim.”
Stressing Sikkim as a Pharma hub, Bonpo went on to say, “If you noticed during the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the necessary medicines and drugs for the entire nation were produced by Pharma companies in Sikkim. We have grown as a pharma hub despite being a small state. There is a curiosity among other Indian states as to why and how Sikkim has so many pharmaceutical companies. We are competing with many bigger states in terms of our production. It’s a matter of pride for Sikkim to take pharmaceutical companies as a motivator for other businesses in the State as well as for entrepreneurs. Hence, pharma-related products have been included in the ODOP.”
Apart from pharma-related products, the next most discussed ODOP was agricultural products such as large cardamom, Dalle chillies native to Sikkim, buckwheat, oranges, tea, trout fishing, floriculture and tourism listed in ODOP.
It was learned that 67 per cent of the primary sector in the state is dependent on agriculture, it still accounts for 50 per cent of products in secondary sectors and 100 per cent of agriculture in tertiary sectors. Apart from agriculture, manufacturing accounted for 16 per cent of products, 17 per cent of marine products, and 17 per cent accounting for other products in the secondary sector.
The commerce and industries department urged the entrepreneurs to balance products based on districts so that each district can generate an export quality product.
The commerce and industries secretary also spoke about the upcoming ‘Unity Mall’ which will feature products under ODOP not merely in Sikkim but every product from Sikkim reaching such Unity Malls in every state of the country.
He shared, “The Unity Mall will be under Invest India, it’s part of the Government of India’s scheme as discussed in the recent union budget. The Mall will be a single mall in every district or a village-like mall as common in Delhi Haat in New Delhi. The ODOP products will come under one umbrella across the nation, otherwise finding a market for our products in other States becomes an expensive concern without the presence of such a mall devoted to the ODOP. Unity Malls will be prime spaces for our product to be sold at the best prices with readily accessible customers.”
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During the discussion with entrepreneurs and other departments, products such as herbals, herbal skincare products, sea buckthorn, wool products, handloom and handicrafts native to Sikkim were also added to the list of ODOP.
The commerce and industries laid major focus on smaller food processing units to come up through various startups in the state, which are mostly dependent on food products and agricultural products for their business. The entrepreneurs were urged to give up on competitive marketing between each other while bringing their products under the Sikkim Supreme or NE Origins banner for marketing and export outside of the state.
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