Batanes farmers train on Participatory Guarantee System

Wed, 05/08/2024 - 17:04

Basco, Batanes - The Agricultural Training Institute-Regional Training Center 02 (ATI-RTC 02) in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office 02 (DA-RFO 02), conducted a 10-day training program aimed at capacitating the organic agriculture practitioners in the establishment and operations of Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) groups.

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The training of trainers on PGS was participated by 25 organic agriculture advocates composed of AEWs and practitioners from PLGU-Batanes, LGU-Ivana and LGU-Basco on April 15-26, 2024 at the DA-Batanes Experiment Station (DA-BES) in Kaychanarianan, Basco, Batanes. Also, 15 staff from DA-BES attended the lecture discussion on Organic Agriculture Standards and the National List of Permitted Substances for Organic Agriculture. This is in response to their requested orientation on PNS/BAFS: 337:2022 (Organic Crop Production, Post-harvest, and. Processing – Code of Practice) in preparation with their third-party certification.

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The training sessions were led by the regional core team of trainers on PGS formation from ATI-RTC 02 and DA-RFO 02. They shared their expertise on various aspects of PGS formation, including its legal framework, organic agriculture standards, establishment, operation, and accreditation of PGS groups as Organic Certification Bodies (OCBs), and peer review & certification protocols.

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Mr. Victor P. Valenciano, a farmer from Ivana, Batanes said, “Our PGS topics are very informative and interesting. In my journey, I should have joined earlier when my mind and body were at its peak but I still believe in the saying, better late than never. For me at this stage, learning is not easy, retention is hard and to be able to train I need the necessary reading materials to review again and again and again.”

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With the successful completion of the Training of Trainers on Participatory Guarantee System (PGS). Certified organic agricultural products are expected to be available in the local market soon. The empowered AEWs and organic agriculture practitioners are now equipped with the knowledge and skills to establish and operate PGS groups, promoting the integrity and quality of organic products in the region.

As the saying goes, "Better late than never." Mr. Valenciano's determination to continue learning and his belief in the value of the training exemplify the spirit of lifelong learning and the pursuit of excellence in agriculture.

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