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PGS: initiatives in more than 60 countries

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Many small farmers are women in the Asian countries.

Many small farmers are women in the Asian countries. Photo © Karin Heinze

IFOAM – Organics International is collecting worldwide data on Participatory Guarantee Ssystems (PGS) in a bi-annually global survey. In 2017, the online survey was conducted from June to November. PGS are recognized in a national organic regulation Brazil, Chile, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Mexico and India.

The PGS concept has grown and with this growth it has also changed. More and more governments are open to recognize or adopt the model. Stakeholders increasingly talk about PGS beyond local markets, for long-distance or cross-border trade. Thirteen years have passed since the first international PGS meeting. Since then, the number of PGS initiatives and the number of farmers involved in PGS has multiplied and spread to many new countries.

IFOAM International estimates that PGS initiatives exist in 66 countries; among them 43 countries have operational PGS initiatives in place. Furthermore, a number of new countries have started implementing PGS during the last two years, including: Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Vanuatu and Cook Islands, reports the IFOAM PGS Newsletter.

"We estimate that there are at least 241 PGS initiatives of which 116 are under development and 125 are fully operational, with at least 307,872 farmers involved worldwide and at least 76,229 producers certified. This includes mostly small-scale farmers and processors", says the survey.

Global PGS developments: India is the leading country

According to the survey between 2015 and 2017, in countries where PGS are recognised by the governments in the national organic legislation. The annual growth rate of PGS certified producers was significant as shown by the cases of Bolivia (+21%), Brazil (+38,5%) and India (+48%). Globally, the annual growth rate of certified producers from 2016 to 2017 has been +34%.

Asia is the leading region with 260,279 producers involved, 49,038 of which are certified. India is the leading country, with 46,598 PGS certified producers, representing 60% of the total producers certified globally. In Latin America, where many governments recognize and acknowledge PGS, especially as a tool to certify small-scale peasant farmers, the number of PGS certified producers increased substantially, from just under 3000 in 2015 up to almost 17,000 in 2017. The leading countries in this process are Brazil, Bolivia and Peru.

More information about global data on PGS is available at a PGS MAP webpage and will be
published in the next edition of the “The World of Organic Agriculture” yearbook 2018.







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