ODOP — Fostering Local Arts, Crafts, and Traditional Skills: Navneet Sehgal
One District One Product Initiative is an endeavour to promote and pave the path for local employment. The government’s mission is to encourage people to focus on local arts, crafts and traditional skills, which can improve income at the local level and increase the contribution of handicrafts in the economic growth of the State. Navneet Sehgal, Additional Chief Secretary, MSME and Export Promotion, Government of Uttar Pradesh, in conversation with Arpit Gupta of Elets News Network (ENN) explains how the initiative can prove to be a game changer.
Launched in January 2018, “One District One Product (ODOP)” is flagship programme of Government of Uttar Pradesh (GoUP). The objective of the programme is to preserve, develop and promote local arts, crafts and traditional skill of communities spread across each district of Uttar Pradesh. Additionally, the programme aims to add to the local income and employment thus checking out migration of local artisans to other locations.
To this end, primarily one product is selected across each district of Uttar Pradesh. The programme aims to address gaps/ challenges in the development path of ODOP products.
It covers all aspects of a product ecosystem, including value chain and infrastructure gaps.
Considering the importance of the programme, GoUP created a specialised Cell i.e. ODOP Cell under the Directorate of Industries, Department of MSME & Export Promotion, to spearhead and implement the ODOP programme. International consulting firm, Ernst & Young LLP (E&Y), was roped in as PMC to assist the ODOP Cell in programme implementation.
GoUP adopted a systematic approach to identify and address gaps/ challenges faced by ODOP artisans/ units. Renowned global and national consulting/ advisory firms (including ADB, PWC, IL&FS and Darashaw) were hired through a transparent and competitive bidding process to prepare Diagnostic Study Reports (DSR) for each district of the State. DSRs were prepared in consultations with all the stakeholders pertaining to ODOP products in the districts. Additionally, DSRs were approved and accepted by the State Government post two tier approval — first, at the district level, by a committee headed by District Magistrate, and second, at the State level, by the ODOP Cell.
Addressing gaps through multi-pronged strategies
Based on findings of the DSR and feedback from the District Industry and Enterprise Promotion Centers (DIEPCs), the ODOP Cell is striving to address gaps/ challenges faced by the ODOP artisans/ units through multipronged strategy — first, the ODOP Cell created four basic schemes to address common challenges faced by the ODOP artisans. These schemes included Margin Money Subsidy Scheme for promoting self-employment among ODOP artisans/ workers by addressing access to finance issue, Market Development Assistance Scheme for addressing marketing and branding issues, Skill Development & Toolkit Distribution Scheme for addressing skill gaps and distributing advance toolkits, Common Facility Centre (CFC) Scheme for addressing issues like design labs, testing labs, raw material banks, advance/ upgraded production setup etc.; second, the ODOP Cell is collaborating with companies/institutions of repute like Amazon, Flipkart, EBay, Quality of Council of India (QCI), Indian Institute of Packaging (IIP), NIFT, AKTU, Bank of Baroda, NSE, BSE etc. to address these gaps; third, ODOP Cell is dovetailing with other GoUP and GoI schemes to provide maximum benefits to ODOP artisans/ units.
District Action Plans (DAPs)
Furthermore, based on the findings of the DSRs, District Action Plans (DAPs) are being prepared by the Project Monitoring Unit at ODOP Cell, for all the 75 districts. The aim of DAPs is to concretise the actionables that are required to be undertaken to address gaps/ challenges identified in the DSRs. Additionally, DAPs aim to double production and exports of ODOP products in the next five years. This is in line with the GoUP’s target of becoming US$ 1 trillion economy in the next five years.