One Country One Priority Product (OCOP)


Countries renew commitment to promote special agriculture products under the FAO OCOP initiative

Participants from over 50 countries shared achievements and priorities during the 2023 Annual Meeting of the FAO One Country One Priority Product (OCOP) initiative

Participants at the meeting.

©FAO/MH Kawsar Rudro


Rome, December 18, 2023 – Representatives from more than 50 countries convened virtually for the 2023 Annual Meeting of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) One Country One Priority Product (OCOP) initiative on 18 December 2023. The main objectives of the OCOP Annual Meeting were to review the key outputs and achievements of the OCOP implementation globally since its inception in 2021 and identify the key priorities and next steps for the initiative. The event witnessed the active participation of governments, academic institutions, the private sector, food value chain actors and other stakeholders, all expressing their renewed commitment to promoting special agricultural products under the OCOP initiative.

Over 100 key stakeholders, including the OCOP focal points from the five demonstration countries (i.e., Bangladesh, Egypt, Malawi, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uzbekistan), the OCOP regional focal points from the five FAO regions, representatives from the FAO country offices and governments, as well as leading technical experts on the various special agricultural products, gathered to share the achievements, challenges, and priorities of the OCOP initiative at the global, regional, and national levels.

In her opening remarks, FAO Deputy Director-General Ms. Beth Bechdol commended the initiative's achievements and highlighted the robust resource mobilization efforts that have supported over 50 countries. 

“Over the last two years, we have worked together on unlocking the potential of these special agricultural products that were identified and selected by the countries. These products can improve the nutrition and food security of people across the world”, she said. 

The meeting commenced with the moderator, Mr. Chikelu Mba, Deputy-Director of the Plant Production and Protection Division (NSP) of the FAO, who set the stage for discussions and welcomed the participants. Two videos were showcased to highlight the achievements and key milestones achieved by the OCOP initiative worldwide. Following this, presentations from the FAO OCOP Secretariat and representatives from the regions and countries reviewed the progress, challenges, and future priorities at various levels. 


Global and regional progress and priorities 

Mr. Hafiz Muminjanov, the Global Coordinator of OCOP, presented the major achievements in 2023 and outlined the key activities planned for 2024 on a global scale. He shared that 83 OCOP members across all five FAO regions have committed to promoting 53 SAPs, and 14.5 million have been mobilized to support 54 countries. The presentation emphasized the initiative's impact and provided the context for the following regional and country-level reports.

Next, representatives from various regions shared their experiences. Ms Maryam Rezaei, the OCOP focal point for the Near East and North Africa region, highlighted the role of OCOP in facilitating a systematic approach for the sustainable value chain of special products in the region. A total of 10 out of 19 countries from the region have joined the OCOP initiative. However, she acknowledged some challenges at present, including ongoing conflicts and limited resource mobilization. Fortunately, she shared the plan to establish a regional knowledge platform on OCOP for the region.

Mr Edward Kilawe, the OCOP focal point for Africa, shared the key achievements of the region, stating that 31 African countries have joined OCOP with 18 SAPs. Challenges were noted, including the need for more support and partnerships, while Ms Xuan Li, the OCOP focal point for the Asia and Pacific region, shared the key activities, noting that 22 countries with 20 SAPs have joined the OCOP. She also shared the plan for the region, emphasizing the importance of partnerships, innovation, and knowledge platforms.

Mr Pedro Arias Marcelo, the OCOP focal point for the Europe and Central Asia region, discussed the continuous interest in OCOP in the region and the challenges posed by the demand for increased support from the small but committed team. The updates from Latin America and the Caribbean were provided by the OCOP regional focal point, Ms Ana Posas Guevara. She highlighted the progress and challenges faced by the participating countries in the region and informed that 14 countries in the region have already joined the initiative and are committed to its vision, citing several countries as examples.

Insights from the five demonstration countries  

The meeting delved into country-specific initiatives, with representatives from Bangladesh, Egypt, Malawi, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uzbekistan showcasing tailored strategies to enhance their special agricultural products. These initiatives addressed the challenges and outlined the future objectives, reflecting the commitment of each country to the OCOP initiative. 

Dr. Munshi Rashid Ahmad, Director of Horticulture Research Centre, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute, and the OCOP national focal point, highlighted Bangladesh's experience with the sustainable development of jackfruit. Mr Khaled El-Haggan, OCOP National Task Force Member of Egypt, discussed Egypt's focus on dates, while Mr Osborne Tsoka, OCOP national focal point from the Ministry of Agriculture of Malawi, presented Malawi's efforts in developing bananas as its special agricultural product. Mr Ian Mohammed, OCOP national focal point from the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries of Trinidad and Tobago, shared Trinidad and Tobago's journey with cocoa, and Mr Jamshid Abduzukhurov, OCOP national focal point from the Ministry of Agriculture of Uzbekistan, showcased Uzbekistan's sweet cherry value chain.

Future priorities and next steps

The Executive Secretary of the OCOP Secretariat at the FAO, Mr Jingyuan Xia, summarised the key achievement and future priorities in his closing remarks expressing gratitude for the tangible results achieved. He highlighted three ‘E’s - Efficiency, Extraordinary efforts, and Excellence; and outlined the success factors: strong leadership, coordination at the regional level, as well as the support from the demonstration countries - paving the way for future aspirations. 

He shared five priority areas for the OCOP:

Wider coverage by expanding the OCOP to all 83 interested countries.  

Specific focus on the 16 demonstration countries to act as role model for other countries across all regions.

Promoting synergies to ensure clear coordination and linkage among initiatives, including the Digital Villages, the Hand-in-Hand Initiative, and other initiatives.

Communication and outreach by placing more importance on communication efforts.

Better coordination at the global, regional, and national levels by strengthening mechanisms, holding regular coordination meetings, and establishing task forces at the national level. 

As the meeting concluded, Mr. Chikelu Mba extended holiday wishes, emphasizing the need for collective efforts to transform agrifood systems through the OCOP initiative. The event showcased a strong global commitment to promoting special agricultural products and improving global food security and nutrition.