Large Area Certification (LAC) Scheme of PGS-India- A&N gets certification

The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare recently announced that around 14,491 hectares of land in Andaman and Nicobar Islands have been certified as organic. This is the first large contiguous territory to be certified under government scheme.

Background

The organic certification was provided under the Large Area Certification Scheme of the Participatory Guarantee System certification programme.

Large Area Certification Scheme

Under the scheme, each village is considered as one cluster or group. The farmers have to adhere to the standard requirements without the need to undergo a conversion period to get certified. This was launched under the Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana.

Basically, under the standard norms of organic production systems, the areas with chemical input usage history will have to undergo a transition period of two to three years to get qualified as organic. This transition period has been removed under the Large Certification Scheme.

Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana

  • The scheme was launched in 2014 to promote natural farming.
  • Currently there are more than 30 lakh hectares of registered areas holding organic certification.
  • India today ranks fifth in terms of area under natural farming and first in terms of total number of producers.

What is Participatory Guarantee Scheme?

It is a scheme that certifies organic products. The scheme is implemented by Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare. The certification is in the form of statement or logo. The certification is issued based on the Food Safety and Standards (Organic Foods) Regulations. These regulations were notified by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India in 2017.

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