21 October, Chukha: The Natural Product Development Facility at Dzedokha village in Loggchina Geog, Chhukha Dzongkhag was inaugurated on 21st October 2019. The event was graced by Dasho Drungpa, Phuntsholing accompanied by Program Director, National Biodiversity Center (NBC), Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (MoAF) and other officials from the Dungkhag and the Ministry.
The facility was developed in collaboration with the NBC, GEF-UNDP Small Grant Programme and the Dzedokha Phacheng Detshen. The facility is being operated as a social enterprise by three operators identified by the Dzedokha Phacheng Detshen under the Access and Benefit Sharing framework.
The facility will be used for the production of nature based products Zhinor massage balm and liniment oil, using the essential oil from Zingiber cassumunar locally known as ‘Phacheng’. The Zhinor massage balm and liniment oil is proven to relieve joints and muscle pains and the plant itself is historically valued by locals for its medicinal value related to treatment of joint pains.
NBC had implemented the pilot project on Access and Benefit Sharing with Dzedokha community focusing on the utilization of Zingibar cassumunar and its traditional knowledge in 2014. After four years of research and cultivation trials, the above two products were developed by NBC and launched in April 2018. The Zhinor trademark was also registered with the Department of Intellectual property, MoEA for marketing of the Natural products.
More over a community based organisation called ‘Dzedokha Phacheng Detshen’ comprising of 50 members was formed. In order to ensure sustainability of the project and to achieve its aim to improve local livelihood and to enhance the value and understanding of biodiversity amongst local communities, NBC provided technical support to develop and market the Zhinor line of Zingiber Cassumunar products.
With the Natural Product Development Facility established and handed over to the community, local community can now carry out whole value chain of zingiber casumunar starting from cultivation of the plant, extraction of essential oil, development of zhinor products and marketing. It will also help to enhance local livelihoods, empower local communities, diversify economy and generate employment opportunities.
The products are currently available at NBC, MoAF.
Reported by Tashi Yangzom, ICTD and NBC
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