Bhutan Green Tea is made from naturally grown camelia sinensis, which is cultivated in the pristine environment of Samcholing village in Trongsa Dzongkhag, by local farming cooperatives. It is considered rare and exotic as only a few hundred kilograms are harvested each year, and it continues to be one of the main sources of livelihood for farmers of the village.
One Gewog One Product (OGOP) works with rural households to improve agricultural activities, from pre-production planning to post-harvest technologies and marketing of crops.
Effective post-harvest management is crucial to increasing household incomes from agricultural productivity. OGOP has worked in more than 100 Gewogs, and more than 1000 households to ensure that rural farmers are better equipped to feed their families and communities. Programs focus on market access, education, decision-making and trainings that empower women and men to be agents of change in their communities.
It has been estimated by FAO that 1.3 billion tonnes of food is globally wasted or lost per year. Reduction in these losses would increase the amount of food available for human consumption and enhance global food security. High rates of post-harvest losses due to pests and poor handling and storage also mean that farmers are not able increase their yield. An efficient post-harvest system maximizes efficiency by improving quality and minimizing loss from farm to plate.
OGOP with technical support from National Post Harvest Center (NPHC) works with small-scale farmers both pre and post-harvest to maximize return for all involved. OGOP & NPHC programs help rural farmers improve practice in storage, handling, transport, value addition and ultimately by connecting small-scale farmers to markets and credit. Last year, in collaboration with the Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), OGOP & NPHC conducted Green Tea post-harvest loss management training at Samcholing.
By retaining more of their harvests, selling them at favorable terms based on demand, and accessing critical resources, small-scale farmers can participate and compete in equitable and sustainable farming systems.