Women & Enterprise Development - A Pilot Project on Production of Herbal Cosmetics by the Rural Women's Self Help Groups in Mongar Dzongkhag.
Women & Enterprise Development - A Pilot Project on Production of Herbal Cosmetics by the Rural Women's Self Help Groups in Mongar Dzongkhag.
The project aims at mobilizing a women's group from Mongar to under go training in herbal cosmetics production iwth assistance from medicinal and Aromatic Project (MAP) of RNR-RC Wengkhar. The berbal cosmetics will include face packs to sprays. The technical experts will also build the capacity of the extension agents concerned so that in future they will be able to support the communities. Mongar has been selected as the proeject site because of the success of a project where SNV did in the past and a Field Survey study by Dr. S. Vedavathy during December 2003 and from May & June 2004 in the surrounding villages of Mongar region along with RNR-RC personnel which resulted in suggesting the project where the indigenous knowledge and herbs can be used for the benefit of the community specially for primary health care.

The primary objective of the project is to support the three women’s Self Help Group in developing a viable enterprise in herbal cosmetic production and marketing so that they are able to generate income from the local natural resources around them in a sustainable manner. The project aims to fulfill the following objectives:

1. To strengthen the capacity of three women self help groups consisting of 10 women each in managing the biodiversity conservation activities;
2. To build the capacity of 30 women in producing herbal cosmetics;
3. To create awareness on the importance of conservation and sustainable use of medicinal plants by community and
4. To make the optimum use of the resources that are available within the vicinity.

1. Formation of Self Help Groups;
2. Conduct a general awareness workshop;
3. Identification of species that are useful;
4. Establish two numbers of herbal gardens owned by SHGs such as having a rooster amongst the ladies to take care of the garder etc. so that it becomes a common property owned by everybody;
5. Formulation of a Business Plan;
6. Procuring equipments needed for producing cosmetics;
7. Actual Training on Production, packaging, Marketing and Branding;
8. Formulation of by-laws including rules, regulations, responsibilities, penalties, etc.;
9. Actual production and sale of the products in an Expo or Trade Fair or an Exhibition;
10. Setting up an outlet after the first sale;
11. Creation of a revolving fund by contributing 20% from the sale of the products.

Progress Report:
1. Conducted a general awareness workshop for the two villages of Tokaray and Banjar which was attended by 110 women participants:

While the participants were gathered, the formation of self help group, drafting of the By-Laws/procedural manure was conducted in a 4-day training, conducted by the RNR-RC, Wengkhar, District Agriculture Officer, Dzongkhag Administration, Mongar and the Extension Agents.

A two-day training was also conducted on the identification of species for the two villages of Banjar and Tsamang. 7 days training was also conducted on the establishment of community herbal garden where the different species of herbal species would be grown in the 1st year such as:

1. Henna;
2. Soap Nut;
3. Alovera;
4. Vitex;
5. Terinelia Billerica;
6. Terinelia Chebulla;
7. Embliea Officiallis;
8. Shikakai;
9. Rubia;
10. Asparagus;
11. Horse Bean;
12. Amla;
13. Mint;
14. Certilia
15. Turmeric.

2. Formation of the By-Laws/Procedural Manual:
The purpose of the procedural manual is to enable the women's group to carry out effectivel and efficient operations. It provides guidelines and procedural manual, supports necessary for successful implementation of the project. The document is meant to serve the needs and realities of the Women's Groups. NWAB, Thimphu will be responsible to implement and interpret this document.

The Tsamang and Tokaray Women's Group is an independent group formed with total concensus amongst the group to implement the project on a pilot basis. The group has 45 women members (25:20). The group has two leaders assisted by two assistant leaders and two treasurers. The rights and obligations of the group are limited to the terms and conditions of this procedural manual.

3. Training in establishment of community herbal garden by Self Help Groups - a two-day training on the establishment of herbal garden was conducted and established a community herbal garden.

2nd Progress Report:
Training on plantation of herbal plant nurseries in individual farms for the two villages of Tokaray and Banjar, the nurseries were grown in the poly tube before transplanting to individual farms.

2. Problems or difficulties in project implementation:

The problems or difficulties for implementation of any activity in these villages are that the houses in these two villages are far scattered and the Banjar village which is 3 to 4 hours walk from Tokaray is not connected with motor-able road.

3. How have these problem s/difficulties been addressed?

Before conducting the three days training we gathered all the members for a day long meeting through the Agriculture Extension Officer based in the community to enable them to understand the purpose of our visit and also discussed the procedural manual which was translated into Dzongkha for their better understanding of the dos and don’ts during the implementation of the project.

4. Assessment of project achievements to date based on indicators in project work plan:

We are happy to report here that the works carried out by the women’s group of two communities on the plantation of herbal plants were quite impressive and progressing. RNR-RC, Wengkhar visited the project sites few times on request from NWAB headquarter, Thimphu, however, we strongly recommend for a constant monitoring from the NWAB headquarter and RNRC, Wengkhar for the success of the project since it is a very new experience for these women.

We are happy to report that the RNR-RC, Wengkhar and Dzongkhag Administration, Mongar rendered all their technical support in fulfilling the project activities. The focal person from RNR-RC, Wengkhar made constant visits to the project sites on the request of NWAB, Thimphu.

The women’s groups will be expected to produce few items during the 1st year of the project (February- March 2009).

1. Herbal Medicines for body pain Shampoo:
• Capsules
• Body massage oil
• Foot crack cream
• And herbal shampoo
• Herbal Oil

(List of Project women under Tokaray village who attended one day meeting followed by three days training ( 18-21 September 2008).

1. Sonam Tshering
2. Kinzang Tshomo
3. Pema Lhaden
4. Sherub Seldon
5. Sherub Tobgay
6. Chimi Zangmo
7. Dorji Mo
8. Tashi Yangzom
9. Chador Zangmo
10. Chimi Seldon
11. Jigme Wangchen
12. Yeshi Thinlem
13. Dechen Mo
14. Sithub Mo
15. Tashi Pezom
16. Kesang Dema
17. Tshomo
18. Tshering Yangchen
19. Sonam Choden
20. Lhamula
21. Sangay Dema
22. Tandin Tshomo
23. Dolma
24. Sangay Lham
25. Karzom
(List of Banjar project women attended one day meeting followed by three days training (22-25 September 2008).

1. Chime Lhaden
2. Tshering Yangki
3. Sonam Choden (A)
4. Sonam Choden (B)
5. Jamyang Choden
6. Sonam Lhamo
7. Chime Tshering
8. Pema Lhazin
9. Sonam Yangzom
10. Tshering Yuden
11. Yangchen Lham
12. Dechen Lhamo
13. Damcho Pemo
14. Decehen La
15. Sangay Dema
16. Sonam Tshomo
17. Tshewang Dema
18. Kenzang Dechen
19. Tsheten Dema
20. Kinzang

Please see Project Results

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Project Snapshot

National Women's Association of Bhutan
Area Of Work:
Land Degradation
Grant Amount:
US$ 17,919.00
Co-Financing Cash:
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 3,399.00
Project Number:
Satisfactorily Completed
Project Characteristics and Results
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Community Contribution (women), NWAB, RNRRC Wengkhar, Mongar and Dzongkhag Administration

SGP Country office contact

Mr. Tenzin Wangchuk
Mr. Tshering Phuntsho
009752322424 (ext:330)


UN House, Peling Lam (Street), Kawajangsa, Thimphu, P.O. Box No. 162
Thimphu, Bhutan, 11001