Agusan del Sur to install PGS inspectors

Juan A. Dupio of Bucac, Bayugan City collects data from Diego dela Cruz’ farm in Sayo, Sta.Josefa, Agusand del Sur during their mock inspection.

STA. JOSEFA, Agusan del Sur – The province of Agusan del Sur through the Provincial Agriculture and Veterinary Office (PAVO) plans to install Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) as one of the most promising tools to develop local organic markets.

In support, the Agricultural Training Institute – Regional Training Center 13 conducted a Training on PGS Inspectors on March 11-13, 2020 per request of the Provincial Organic Agriculture Program (OAP) Coordinator Nila Estrada. It was attended by 32 organic farmers and municipal OAP focal persons from Bunawan, Prosperidad, Bayugan City, Trento, and Sta. Josefa.

Noel B. Salazar of Agro-Eco Philippines, Inc. reviewed the principles and concepts of the Organic Agriculture Act of 2010. To prepare the participants in their roles as PGS inspectors, Salazar taught them the process, coverage, and, code of conduct as inspectors.

To familiarize them better with their functions, the participants visited three sites of rice fields where they conducted a mock PGS inspection by group. There they interviewed the farm owners Ronald Racoma, Diego dela Cruz and Nilo Acupinpin. They evaluated and submitted the data to the Peer Review Committee for review and approval through pass and fail criteria.

Brimming with hope for this locally focused quality assurance system, the participants agreed to formulate first the PGS manual based on the Philippine National Standards for Organic Agriculture, being a prior requirement for PGS creation.

PGS certify producers based on active participation of stakeholders and are built on a foundation of trust, social network, and knowledge exchange. (with report from EMadelo)