Participatory Guarantee Scheme (PGS)

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News:India’s food safety regulator has said that Union Agriculture Ministry’s Participatory Guarantee Scheme(PGS) should incentivise more farmers to grow organic food.

Facts:

What is Participatory Guarantee System (PGS)?

  • PGS is an internationally applicable organic quality assurance system.
  • Participatory Guarantee System –India (PGS-India) is a decentralised organic farming certification system. 
  • The system certifies organic products maintaining the requisite quality standards including ensuring that the cultivation and production process is done complying the standards laid down for organic product.
  • The scheme is implemented by the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India.

Benefits of PGS:

  • PGS helps small and marginal farmers to easily get access to organic certification.
  • It is cost effective, hassle-free and most important of all farmer-friendly.
  • It helps in increasing domestic demand for organic produce.
  • It also provides training to farmers in the management of documents and fulfilment of requirements that are needed for the certification process.

Concerns under PGS:

  • PGS certification is only for farmers or communities that can organise and perform as a group within a village or a cluster of contiguous villages.
  • The individual farmers or groups of farmers smaller than five members are not covered under PGS.