Formal Handing Over of the Natural Product Facility to the Community

posted in: Biodiversity News | 0


National Biodiversity Centre and Dzedokha Phacheng Detshen: On 8th June 2023, the National Biodiversity Center in the presence of Gewog Administration (Gup, Mangmi & Gewog Administration Officer) and Gewog Agriculture Extension Officer officially handed over the Natural Product Development Facility to the Dzedokha Phacheng Detshen.

The National Biodiversity Centre being the National Focal Point for Nagoya Protocol on Access & Benefit Sharing (ABS) implemented Nagoya Protocol project in 2014 in partnership with UNDP-Bhutan and Dzedokha Phacheng Detshen for sustainable utilization and conservation of the Zingiber cassumnar locally called ‘phacheng’. Total of three projects were initiated with the primary objective of piloting ABS. Of the three, the Dzedokha Phacheng Detshen group focused on utilizing Traditional Knowledge associated with Zingiber cassumunar.

Dzedokha is located in the southern part of Bhutan under the Loggchina gewog. The gewog consists of 5 Chiwogs with a population of little over 2500. Dzedokha Chiwog was chosen as the site to implement the project based on participatory Rural Appraisal.

The main source of income for the community was from citrus, cardamom and ginger. However, due to emergence of pests and diseases in citrus and cardamom their only source of stable income was reduced to ginger. Therefore, to diversity economic opportunities the project worked a zingiber cassumunar to diversify the income . The wild ginger, locally known as ‘Phachang’ has traditionally been used by local communities of Loggchina to alleviate joint and muscle pain for generations. After, phytochemical analysis the essential oil revealed valuable compounds responsible for analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic activity. Therefore, the farmers’ group ‘Dzedokha Phachang Detshen’ was established consisting of 49 members and ‘ZHINOR’ massage was produced as a massage balm and liniment.

The communities are trained on sustainable cultivation, processing and extraction, product development, packaging and marketing including group management and a Natural Product Development Facility was also established at Dzedokha village. The Natural Product development facility is equipped with a mass distillation unit and a product development room.

The Centre is confident that the facility at the community’s disposal will foster more community engagement and ensure optimal utilization of the resources for progressive development of the community, hence the Centre deems fit to hand over the facility to the community to engage them in income generating activity and for sustainable management of TK associated genetic resources.