Organic Certification through Participatory Guarantee System
Through its implementation partners, Bhoomi Ka has helped and continues to encourage smallholder farmers to acquire PGS certification.
PGS is the preferred system of organic farm certification emerging out of the experience of the organic farming movement worldwide. PGS is now recognized by IFOAM, FAO and by the Government of India. The PGS has several important features which is why organic farmers have taken to it enthusiastically wherever it has been introduced:
- PGS procedures are simple. The documents are easy to follow.
All the documents are available in the language of the farmers concerned.
- Where farm inspectors are not literate, PGS offers the option of
conducting the inspection on video, with oral recording of
answers, recorded on CD.
- The farm visits are conducted by
people who have a day-to-day knowledge or are acquainted with the farm since it is
within the village and the farm inspectors reside in
the same area.
- The PGS is ideally suited for small and marginal farmers who are otherwise left out of the certification process.
- Farm certification is back in the hands of the farmers themselves.
- The PGS is based on personal trust and knowledge. Hence necessity for paper work – which is required when the certifier does not have personal knowledge of the farm family or farm – is greatly reduced in PGS.