One Village One Product (OVOP) movements have been promoted in Oita since the 1970's. Advocated by Dr. Morihiko Hiramatsu, Governor of Oita prefecture in Japan (1979-2003), the OVOP movements are known to have contributed to revitalizing rural villages experiencing depopulation, as well as economic and social stagnation. The OVOP movements encourage and engender community initiatives to (re)discover and add value to local resources, and create a local specialty product (OVOP product) which can be considered as a unique local treasure. The OVOP movements have been adopted in a number of countries in the world. The Japanese government has been promoting the concept of the OVOP movements as a main pillar of its official development assistance directed to Africa.
The OVOP movements are founded upon three principles. (Please refer to the website of Oita OVOP International Exchange Promotion Committee in detail.)
Under the principle of "local yet global", emphasis is placed on reinforcing linkages between "local link" and "global reach", "Local link" implies reconsidering the value of resources existing in and around a community, while "global reach" suggests a possibility of an OVOP product made of and by such resources to attain recognition in urban or overseas markets. People in a community are expected to learn to add creativity to improve quality and design of OVOP products, in order to meet the needs of urban and overseas markets.
“Self-reliance and creativity” reiterates the importance of concerted community initiatives in the identification and unitization of local resources, and in the production and marketing of OVOP products. By doing so, various sections of a community, including OVOP producers, are expected to understand the importance of a community‟s self-reliance in the management of these resources for the benefit of the community.
“Human resource development” is a critical element of OVOP movements. This principle underlines the importance of raising capacities of human resources, for them to acquire knowledge and skills to reinforce linkages between “local link” and “global reach”.