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India: Participatory Guarantee System to be Introduced Soon ?

For small and marginal farmers, a Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) may be introduced in all Indian states by December 2010. Apart from certifying products through mutual supervision, the system will maintain a database of all organic farmers registered for it.

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The need for a PGS system was felt after the small and marginal organic farmers found themselves unable to market their products and get adequate prices in the absence of a certificate. Now farmers can form their own groups and monitor each others' farms to see if each one of them adhere to organic means of production and keep their farms free of chemicals.

Diliprao Deshmukh, vice-president, Maharashtra Organic Farming Federation, said, “There will be a regional council that will give out the certificates after being convinced that the group has been carrying out the process of continuous supervision effectively. Here no additional costs will be involved for getting a certificate, apart from the ones incured in creating and maintaining the infrastructure for organic farming.

For export markets, the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) will continue to certify products, which involves third party certification. 

AK Jadhav, director, department of Agriculture and Co-operation, Ministry of Agriculture, said, “Under this system, those farmers who are under the conversion period of two-three years the will also have a logo, called the green logo. It is the time taken to nullify the effects of previously used chemicals in the soil. Those who get the certificates will carry the organic logo on their processed products. Thus the loses will be reduced for those who are new entrants in the field.”

Source: IndianExporess.com: System to tackle organic farming expenses on cards, Septmber 22, 2010

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