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.
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.