What is the News?
The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare has conferred a land area in the Andaman and Nicobar with organic certification. This is the first large contiguous territory conferred with the organic certification under the ‘Large Area Certification’ (LAC) scheme.
This is a scheme of the PGS-India (Participatory Guarantee System) certification program.
Note: PGS is a process of certifying organic products. It ensures that their production takes place in accordance with laid-down quality standards for organics.
About Large Area Certification Scheme:
- The Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare under its flagship scheme of Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojna (PKVY) has launched the Large Area Certification Scheme.
- Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana(PKVY) was launched in 2015 with the aim to support and promote organic farming. This in turn results in the improvement of soil health.
- Purpose: The purpose is to provide a unique and quick organic certification to harness the potential land areas for organic products.
Process for Large Area Certification:
- Firstly, under the LAC, each village in the area is considered as one cluster/group. Documentations are simple and maintained village-wise.
- Secondly, all farmers with their farmland and livestock need to adhere to the standard requirements. After verification, they will get certified as a group. Once issued they don’t need to go under conversion period.
- Thirdly, certification is renewed on annual basis through annual verification. Annual verification is a process of peer appraisals as per the process of PGS-India.
Benefits of Large Area Certification:
- As per the established norm of organic production systems, the areas having chemical input usage history will undergo a transition period of a minimum of 2-3 years to qualify as organic.
- On the other hand, the LAC requirements are simple. The area can be certified as organic almost immediately. Further, the LAC is a Quick certification process that is cost-effective. Apart from that, the farmers do not have to wait for 2-3 years for marketing PGS organic certified products.
- Firstly, Organic Farming avoids or largely excludes the use of synthetic inputs (such as fertilizers, pesticides, hormones). Instead, it relies upon crop rotations, animal manures, off-farm organic waste and a biological system of nutrient mobilization.
- Secondly, India now has more than 30 lakh ha area registered under organic certification. Also, more and more farmers are joining the movement slowly.
- Thirdly, as per the international survey report (2021) India ranks at 5th place in terms of area. Further, India is at the top in terms of the total number of organic producers(the base year 2019).