LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards (BAFS) in collaboration with the Cordillera office of the Department of Agriculture (DA-CAR) and the municipal government conducted a final inspection of the Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) Core Group members of the Organic Participatory Guarantee System La Trinidad (OPGSLT). This was held on October 18-20, 2022 in order to verify the group’s compliance to the Philippine National Standards (PNS) on Organic Agriculture (OA) as a prerequisite for their PGS-Organic Certifying Body (PGS-OCB) accreditation.
The farms inspected were operated by Danilo G. Kudan Jr., Gabino O. Alfonso, Maribel L. Ciano, Lorena B. Gabriel and Roxanne A. Tacdoy, located at Taloy Norte, Tuba, Benguet; Shilan, Ambiong and Wangal, La Trinidad, respectively, focusing on crop and animal production.
The inspection team identified the major and minor non-compliances that needed to be addressed but as they listed the non-compliances, they also highlighted the good practices. The major non-compliance must be addressed for three months, while minor ones require 12 months.
The farmers must submit a correction and corrective action plan for the said non-compliances.
Alongside the efforts of implementing this year’s committed targets in providing interventions to the organic practitioners, the DA-CAR is continuously intensifying its efforts on organic certification through PGS since the approval of the guidelines related to PGS in April of this year in line with the National Organic Agriculture Program’s goal of increasing certified organic farms in the country.
According to the guidelines on the Establishment, Operation and Accreditation of PGS, a minimum of five core members must be certified, while the entire PGS group must go through the accreditation process. This is also an alternative to the third-party certification because, unlike expensive third-party certifiers, PGS is a locally focused quality assurance system that will benefit small organic farmers and fisherfolk.
The OPGSLT is expected to be accredited soon with the continued assistance of the DA-CAR and municipal government. The accreditation signifies that the PGS members can now certify their farmer-members as organic practitioners who adhere to PNS on OA. By CEWaytan