On November 9, 2012 the Research Shop grand opening ceremony was held in Bishkek by the “One Village – One Product” Association (OVOP). With the financial support of the Kumtor Operating Company producers of Jeti-Oguz and Ton districts of Issyk-Kul got the opportunity to sell their products in the store in frames of a joint Community empowerment project of KOCs and OVOP, implemented in the southern part of Issyk-Kul. Jam and juices from environmentally-friendly products, produced by entrepreneurs from Issyk-Kul, are now available to everyone.
For several months in frames of cooperation of KOCs and OVOP, entrepreneurs were taught the basics of marketing, financial and capital management. A group of consultants of OVOP and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have taught the residents the essentials of jam production at home and hygiene standards. A series of business planning seminars were held at the Barskoon-based KOC Regional Information Center. Practical sessions were arranged in a Karakol vocational school where upgraded jam-producing equipment had been purchased with KOC’s financial assistance. Practical seminars were held at Ton and Jety-Oguz.
The joint project will continue until late March 2013 to cover 20 villages and about 30 communities. Kumtor Operating Company allocated $300 000 US dollars for this project. The purpose of the joint project is to unite private business and community efforts for the development of the region’s economic potential through production and sales of goods at the affordable price.
“Our company believes that such initiatives are a great way to maintain good relations with the local communities and help new entrepreneurs to efficiently use their own capabilities and resources in order to improve their lives and to always have a real chance to develop”, – said Douglas Grier, KOC Sustainable Development Director.
The Association “One Village One Product” was organized in the Issyk-Kul region at the initiative of local producers as part of the OVOP project, which is being implemented by the provincial administration with the support of JICA and KOC. Any community or individual may join OVOP. The OVOP members are engaged in the production of unique goods by using accessible resources.