The Participatory Guarantee System is an international program to provide organic certification to groups of small holding farmers at no cost. In India it is also implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture through the National Center of Organic Farming. It is a system where smallholder farmers can convert their lands under organic farming without overheads of cost. While also providing a viable means of consumer participation through transparent peer reviews.
This is achieved by delegating the certification process to the farmers themselves, as well as local retailers, consumers and all other shareholders, through yearly peer reviews.
PGS certification is available in 72 countries, with numbers growing fast. It is supported by IFOAM and accepted by governments around the world.
It is also recognised by FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation of The United Nations) as a viable method of including small holder organic farmers to the markets. To know more about the system please see papers and articles published by FAO, where our group has also found mention as one of the 52 global profiles of Agroecology.
The certificate of Muskaan Jaivik SHG under the PGS-India scheme is
To know more about PGS in India please refer to the FAO Publication on Innovative markets for sustainable agriculture Chapter 7