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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

MPK members have doubts about future of OVOP campaign

Khai Zem Mat Sani

SOME members of Village Consultative Councils (MPK) in the Brunei-Muara District and Tutong District have expressed their concern over MPK’s bid to promote the One Village One Product (OVOP) movement as they lack marketing knowledge or professional help to boost their products.

Speaking to The Brunei Times, Hj Amran Hj Johari, 59, a member of the MPK Kg Kiudang and a tea and herb enthusiast, said that sales were declining due to flaws in marketing.

“We were able to sell a total of 200 boxes of our product during the expos and bazaars (in 2013), but it is not enough to sell our products just during such events,” he said.

“We want to sell the product to supermarkets but we may not be able to arrange meetings and make deals with investors, be it local or foreign,” he said.

“We understand that we are encouraged to be independent in all matters, but we lack so many things such as staff, and access to loans from banks,” he added.

“As we are doing this alone without proper instruction from professionals we cannot achieve what people expect of us,” Hj Amran said.

The village head of Kg Kiulap, Hj Mohammad Abu Bakar also shared similar sentiment when he said that they were lacking qualified people to help in commercialising their product.

“Most of the members are senior citizens and there is no one who is capable of being a marketer for our product. This has happened to other MPKs too.

“The main product of MPK Kg Kiulap is kueh and crackers. But due to the problems that we face, we have not been able to show our product to the public and this has affected our market,” he said.

Besides problems with marketing, both of them also expressed their disappointment with local supermarkets for not taking interest in promoting the local product in the market.

Hj Mohammad said that some of the local products that have been placed in supermarkets are not displayed prominently.

“Most of the local products are not displayed properly. This may be why people are unaware about the existence of our products,” said the village head.

Meanwhile, supervisors from different supermarkets said that they had never received local products from MPKs.

A supervisor from Hua Ho Department Store who preferred not to be identified, said that the store had never received any food products from MPKs. “All products have to get through us before we can put them on the shelf. I am aware of the local products from Sabli’s and other Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs), but there are no MPK food products.”

Sharing similar sentiment, a supervisor from the Giant Hypermarket Rimba, who wanted to be identified as Didi, said that it only had local products from SME.

“I’m aware about the MPKs’ OVOP from the bazaar, but not from our supermarket. The only local products we have is from SMEs,” said the supervisor.

Sumber - The Brunei Times

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