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Participatory Guarantee Scheme

Participatory Guarantee Scheme

Tag:GS 3||Economics|| Agriculture|| Sustainable Agriculture & Organic Farming

Why in News?

  • FSSAIhead has recently stated that Participatory Guarantee Scheme (PGS) will incentivize more farmers to grow organic food.

 What is Participatory Guarantee Scheme?

  • PGS is a process of certifying organic products, which ensures that their production takes place in accordance with laid-down quality
  • The certification is in the form of a documented logo or a statement.
  • PGSs are locally focused quality assurance systems that certify producers based on the active participation of stakeholders and are built on a foundation of trust, social networks, and knowledge exchange.
  • The certified organic food production is still very low. The PGS brings together a peer group of farmers and the costs are low.
  • As this certified by a central authority so the quality of the organic food will be ensured thereby increasing the exports.

 Advantages of PGS

  • It is cost-effective, hassle-free and most important of all farmer-friendly.
  • It will help in raising the farmers’ income by increasing the production so coincides with the doubling of farmers’ income by 2022.
  • By increasing the exports the current deficit will narrow down and help in stabilizing and strengthening the value of rupee.
  • It will also promote the usage of the organic food within-country itself thereby ensuring nutritious food, food security, health and hygiene standards for the food commodities in India.

 Why PGS?

  • Procedures are simple, documents are basic, and farmers understand the local language
  • All participants live in close proximityand are introduced to one another so understands the process well.
  • Since peer reviewers live in the same village, they have better access to monitoring; peer assessment instead of third party inspections also reduces costs.
  • In contrast to the grower group certification scheme, PGS provides individual certificates to each farmer and the farmer is free to sell his own goods independently of the company/group.
  • Mutual recognition and cooperationbetween local PGS groups allow improved storage and advertising networking.

PGS India

  • An ‘Operational Manual for Domestic Organic Certification’ published in 2015.
  • It was published by the ‘National Centre of Organic Farming’, Ghaziabad, under the Ministry of Agriculture.
  • PGSis a quality assurance initiative, operates outside the framework of third-party certification.

Definition International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM)

  • PGSs are “locally focused assurance systems.”
  • This certifies producers on the basis of active stakeholder engagement and is developed on the basis of trust, social networks, and information sharing.
  • IFOAM is an international umbrella organization for the campaign for organic farming headquartered in

Four Pillers of PGS

  • Participation
    • Collectively, stakeholders such asproducers, customers, retailers,distributors, merchants, NGOs, Gram Panchayats, and government organizations and agencies are responsible for planning, designing, operating and decision making.
    • Direct communication between stakeholders helps to create an integrity-and confidence-based approach with transparency consistency in decision-making, easy access to databases and farm visits where possible.
  • Shared Vision
    • A common shared vision guides collective responsibilityfor development and decision-making.
    • That stakeholder organization or group of PGS may adopt its own vision in compliance with the PGS-India program’s overall vision and standards.
  • Transparency
    • At the grassroots level, accountability is preserved by producer active participation in the organic guarantee
    • A system, which may include information sharingat meetings, workshops, and conferences, peer reviews, and engagement in decision-making.
  • Trust
    • A fundamental premise of PGS is the belief that farmers can be trusted and this trust can be conveyed and checked by the organic guarantee process.
    • Trustworthiness measures include a supplier promise made through a witness signing of a declaration, and the group’s written mutual undertakings to comply with PGS norms, values, and guidelines.

Limitations of PGS

  • PGS certification applies only to farmers or communitieswho can coordinate and function as a community within a village or group of contingent villages and applies only to farm activities such as crop production, processing and rearing of livestock and off-farm processing ‘PGS farmers of their direct products.
  • Individual farmers or groups of farmers of less than five members are not protected by the PGS.
  • They either apply for approval by third parties or join the existing local group of PGS.
  • PGS guarantees traceability until the commodity is in the PGS group’s control, making PGS suitable for direct local sales and direct trade between producers and consumers.

References