ABOUT PGS GHANA

The Participatory Guarantee Systems of Ghana work towards the promotion of organic produce throughout the nation.

Focused on grassroots farming organizations to ensure participation and bottom-up change.

Holistic and participatory models of farming, business and
social justice.

Environmentally conscious and sustainable farming practices that are sustainable.

WHAT IS A PARTICIPATORY GUARENTEE SYSTEM?

PGS is a system practised in organic communities around the world based on 6 key elements of shared vision, lateral cooperation, trust, transparency, participation and learning. It is a grassroots organisation that is based on principles and values that supports food security, well-being, gender equality and farmer rights. Farmers sign pledges upholding these principles and values. A set of norms is conceived by all stakeholders within the PGS with clear predefined consequences for non-compliance. A documented management system and procedures is build to support the process as well as suitable mechanisms to verify compliance and which is suitable to smallholder agriculture.

WHAT WE DO FOR OUR FARMERS

Annually, each farmer is visited by the PGS team made up of member farmers, consumers and technical experts (if needed). The farm visit is both an opportunity for the farmer to highlight his/her work during the year and for the PGS auditing team to view the farm in relation to the agreed upon Standards. The team assesses farms against standards and agrees/disagrees that the farmer may carry the seals and logo’s of the PGS Group. These visits are conducted in the spirit of trust and transparency to support the farmer but ensuring that the declared organic standard is upheld.

OUR ORGANIZATION'S HISTORY

West Africa, one of the poorest regions in the world is rich in abundance natural resources but deficient in cultivating large area of its land for organic purposes. There has been insufficient support to promote organic production in the region in a systemic way.

In 2017, the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs approved the Organic Movement for Development (OM4D) project. The project covers a 5‐year period and is implemented by International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements (IFOAM) and Agro Eco in 4 countries: Burkina Faso, Ghana, Sao Tome, and Togo. OM4D is a part of the Ecological Organic Agriculture Initiative (EOAI) that was launched by the African Union in 2014 and complements interventions under this initiative. OM4D contributes to sustainable development in West Africa and the achievements of the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs), mainly SDG 1 (No Poverty) and SDG 2 (Zero Hunger). It strengthens the resilience of people and their ability to protect themselves from the negative impacts of worsening external conditions and shocks.

The goal of the project is that organic farming and related market systems enable smallholder farmers to improve their living conditions. The specific objectives are:

Establish and strengthen four organic national umbrella organisations to bring together a wide range of stakeholders for dialogue, coordination, and sector support.

Link producers directly to local customers by setting up and promoting Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS), an affordable alternative to third party certification for domestic markets.

Develop high impact value chains for international markets by enhancing farmer knowledge and farming practices resulting in increased income for smallholder farmers.

Promote policies fostering organic market development with the inclusion of the poor at national and international levels.

In working with objective 2, PGS has been selected as the means to drive this. Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS) are an alternative quality assurance system used in organic agriculture and suitable for local markets and small scale farmers. They certify producers based on active participation of stakeholders and are built on a foundation of trust, social networks and knowledge exchange.

PGS are an opportunity to disseminate organic production practices, to familiarize local stakeholders with the concept, to facilitate access to locally produce healthy food and to improve the conditions for the marketing of agricultural products of family producers. PGS initiatives are serving thousands of small organic farmers and their consumers all over the world, and the numbers are increasing every year.

In view of the above, in June 2018 PGS training was conducted by IFOAM- Organics International for stakeholders in Ghana and by August a coordinator was appointed to oversee the development of PGS in Ghana.

Over the years a lot of work as been done to develop PGS in Ghana and PGS is still in its development stage. Some farmers have signed up to the system and they have been seeing the benefit of having this certification on their sales

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