PGS core group prepares for OCB accreditation

Fri, 10/06/2023 - 13:03

Agricultural Training Institute – Regional Training Center 8 continues to guide the Participatory Guarantee System crop group in Eastern Visayas as they prepare for the Organic Certifying Body (OCB) accreditation.

ATI-RTC 8 organic focal, Ms. Graciel V. Gacutan shares, “The objective of the training is to prepare the group in their application for accreditation as OCB. One of the focuses is to familiarize the participants with the committee members, their roles and responsibilities, and the operational mandate of OCB. This will ensure that the peer reviewers will have the capacity to assess farms applying for organic certification based on the Internal Standards.”

The training discussed the following modules: 1) Internal Standards and Manual of Operations, 2) Accreditation of PGS Groups as Organic Certifying Bodies (OCB); and 3) Peer Review and Certification Protocols. Participants were also able to conduct mock peer reviews and classified findings which were also presented among the trainees.

Mr. Juanito Acopiado was delighted with the activity. “Mas klaro sa naglabay kay di pa kami maaram mag peer review, di kami maaram maghimo root cause, findings, CCAP ngan damo pa. Yana naklaruhan kami sa iyo gitukip na pag-aradman damo gud kaupay an nabaruan sa iyo sanglit amon babalunon sa kasing kasing an iyo sakripisyo ngan paghigugma sa amon para la mabaro kami sini ngan makabulig kami sa amon igkasi farmer (The sessions made it clear to use how peer review is done. Before, we didn’t  know how to identify the root cause, finding, CCAP any many more. Today, we have a better understanding of the concepts which we will carry by heart, especially the sacrifices you have put into this just so we can learn better and for us to help our co-farmers in return)”, he quips.

Four batches completed the training from different municipalities. Ormoc City PGS core group was able to finalize the Internal Standard and Manual of Operations for submission to the BAFS before the end of September 2023. They have also confirmed to apply for accreditation to the BAFS before September 30, 2023. Meanwhile, Alangalang PGS core group will apply for accreditation in the first week of November.

Eighty-five farmers and agricultural extension workers completed the Training of Trainers on Certified Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) Groups Towards Accreditation as Organic Certifying Bodies (OCB) on June 19-23, 2023 in Catubig, Northern Samar; July 24-28, 2023 in La Paz, Leyte; on September 11-15, 2023 in Ormoc City, Leyte; and on October 2-6, 2023 in Alangalang, Leyte.(With reports from Graciel V. Gacutan)