A person looking at a social media account. Image: The Bruneian

Grassroots leaders nationwide want more youths to help market One Village One Product (OVOP) line-ups via social media platforms as they are more knowledgable with the latest technology and business trends.

Village heads told The Bruneian recently that members of the Village Consultative Council (MPK), despite learning, still face complications to understand the dynamics of online platforms.

Village head of Kg Mumong Hj Md Yusof Hj Dulamin admitted that social media has become more important especially in upscaling businesses.

He also noted that youth entrepreneurs are more successful as they are able to utilise platforms including WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram to promote their products.

“But as someone who came from the older generation myself, I do see that we still have a long way to go,” he said.

The former Legislative Council member said that he currently  markets his village’s flagship chilli-sauce and Rosella cordials through WhatsApp and Facebook.

However, he did not receive much response from his targeted market.

This then made him question if social media marketing is right for his products and now, he needs input from the younger generation.

Currently, most OVOPs in Brunei consist of traditional snacks and handicrafts, said Hj Md Yusof, adding that apart from getting profits, preserving skills to make the products is equally important to youths.

A picture of the MPK’s banana chips Image: MPK Kg Kapok

Sharing the same sentiment was  a member of MPK Kg Sg Bunga Zaini Hj Salleh and village head of Kg Jerudong Hj Mohd Rais Hj Ishak, who raised concerns over attracting youths to help with MPK developments.

“Most of the OVOPs we have are traditional goods that need proper marketing methods in this age and time.  It is a challenge that seems to disinterest the youths,” he said.

“While us senior citizens are adept in conventional marketing means, they may not necessary work now; that’s why we need youths so we can get fresher ideas on how to approach things,” he added.

Besides exploring the demand-supply channels, Zaini highlighted the need for MPKs to know how to raise funds and avoid being heavily dependent on the government for capital.

Youths, he said, are more used to handling fundraising events which Zaini thought could help the MPK in finding the right budget to finance their projects.

Through social media, he said, youths might be able to connect with residents of their respective villages to raise funds and then cycle them appropriately to foster growth to their communities.

“A village’s economic growth is everyone’s responsibility. Wouldn’t it be better if community successes can be attributed directly to the contribution of its residents itself?” said Zaini.

The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

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