DEH Initiative: Districts at the forefront of exports

The One District One Product – Districts as Export Hubs initiative is a combined effort by the Department of Commerce (DoC) and the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT). It merges two programs, ODOP and DEH, and aims to bring balanced development to all districts in India.

The idea is straightforward: pick, brand, and promote one product from each district to boost overall economic growth. By focusing on local strengths, this initiative seeks to enhance each district’s role in India’s exports, contributing to the country’s economic well-being.


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The ODOP-Districts as Export Hubs initiative strives to elevate each district in India into a vibrant export hub by focusing on product identification, branding, and collaboration with manufacturers. Integrated with the Districts as Export Hubs Initiative, it addresses various aspects of production and market creation. Objectives include self-sufficiency, investment attraction, and technology-driven export ecosystems, with envisioned interventions spanning state strategies, export committees, and infrastructure support for comprehensive district-led export growth.

Transforming districts into export hubs

Under the ODOP – Districts as Export Hubs initiative, products with export potential have been identified in all 765 districts of the nation. The One District One Product – Districts as Export Hubs Initiative (ODOP – DEH) is a program designed to promote well-rounded regional development across all districts in the country.

The fundamental concept involves carefully selecting, branding, and promoting one product from each district (One District – One Product), fostering comprehensive socioeconomic advancement across diverse regions. The ODOP initiative has been integrated with the Districts as Export Hubs Initiative.

The ODOP-Districts as Export Hubs initiative actively collaborates with manufacturers and producers across districts, engaging in various facets such as design, production, manufacturing, packaging, and market creation. This comprehensive strategy is geared towards amplifying sales in both domestic and international markets.

Significantly, the ODOP initiative has undergone integration with the ‘Districts as Export Hubs Initiative’ (DEH), administered by the Department of Commerce (DoC), with the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) playing a pivotal role as a major stakeholder.

Districts leading export transformation under the DEH initiative

The DEH Initiative emphasizes the vital significance of unlocking the diverse potential and unique identity within each district, converting them into vibrant export hubs. Administered by the Department of Commerce, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) works in collaboration with States/UTs and districts. This collaboration establishes institutional mechanisms to facilitate the export of identified products and services.

As part of this initiative, products and services with export potential have been identified in 734 districts across the country, following extensive consultations with stakeholders, including States/UTs. Detailed Districts Export Action Plans have been formulated for the identified products and services, specifically tailored for overseas markets.

These action plans delineate precise steps to support local exporters and manufacturers, ensuring the production/manufacturing of identified products in sufficient quantity and meeting the requisite quality standards for international buyers. The overarching objective is to overcome challenges associated with the export of these identified products/services, address infrastructural bottlenecks, bridge supply chain gaps, improve market accessibility, and provide essential support to boost exports, ultimately benefiting both producers and manufacturers.

The objectives of the District as Export:

  1. Facilitate MSMEs, farmers, and small industries leveraging export opportunities in international markets.
  2. Shift the focus towards District-led Export Growth to foster self-sufficiency and self-reliance.
  3. Attract investments to the District, thereby bolstering manufacturing and export capacities.
  4. Establish an ecosystem for innovation and the utilization of technology at the District level to enhance export competitiveness.
  5. Mitigate transaction costs for exporters at various stages of the export cycle.
  6. Provide comprehensive support and guidance to exporters through doorstep delivery of timely and pertinent information.
  7. Generate employment opportunities within the District.
  8. Create platforms for the extensive global reach of products and services from the district through E-commerce and Digital marketing, with a specific emphasis on promoting artisans, farmers, handicrafts, handloom, tourism, and other cottage industries.

The envisioned initiatives within the framework of the District as Export Hubs

Institutional/Policy Interventions:

  • Formulation of State Export Strategy/Policy by all State/UT Governments.
  • Identification of products/services unique to each District.
  • Establishment of District Export Promotion Committees (DEPC).
  • Development of District Export Action Plans (DEAPs).
  • Vigilant monitoring and oversight of DEAP implementation.
  • Identification of agricultural clusters within the districts.
  • Mapping Geographical Indication (GI) products in each District.
  • Establishment of export development Centres, particularly emphasizing E-Commerce integration at the district level.

Strategic Measures:

  • Provision of infrastructure and logistical support.
  • Implementation of E-Commerce initiatives, including marketing and branding strategies.
  • Facilitation of skill development, training, and testing facilities.
  • Support for research and development, as well as technology upgradation.
  • Execution of export promotion outreach activities to enhance market penetration and visibility.


The concerted efforts through initiatives, such as the ODOP-Districts as Export Hubs and DEH Initiative, underscore a transformative vision to elevate every district of India into a dynamic export hub. By focusing on product identification, collaboration with manufacturers, and strategic interventions, these programs aim to unlock the diverse potential within each district, fostering regional development and self-sufficiency.

The emphasis on innovation, technology, and E-commerce integration at the district level aligns with the broader objectives of attracting investments, reducing transaction costs, and generating employment. The envisioned institutional and policy interventions, coupled with strategic measures, form a robust framework to overcome challenges and propel districts into global markets. Overall, these initiatives strive to create a thriving ecosystem where districts emerge as vital contributors to India’s export prowess, benefiting diverse sectors and fostering inclusive socio-economic growth.

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