Agriculture Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and local media met in Vientiane on Aug 2 to discuss the Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) Media Campaign Outreach.
This project is under the project Inclusive of Small-Scale Farm Inclusion in Organic Agriculture Development through PGS and aims to provide basic knowledge of PGS and organic vegetables to reporters so that they can better inform the public of organic vegetables, and help raise public awareness of PGS.
The meeting also provided the reporters opportunities to discuss the implementation of PGS in Laos with representatives of producers, venders, customers and supporters, and how to improve market access for small farmers to ensure consumers can buy their products at affordable prices.
Laos developed organic farming system in 2004 and upgraded it to PGS in 2010. The PGS is very important as it authenticates whether vegetable is safe and meets green, clean and other agricultural standards.
We have been working to present the Participatory Guarantee system (PGS) as an opportunity smallholder farmers through which they can certify and differentiate their organic products at lower cost and gain more stable access to markets, said FAO Representative to Lao PDR Stephen Rudgard.
PGS offers an opportunity to farmers to increase their income and improve their livelihoods which are part of FAO’s mandate. It also offers an opportunity to buyers and consumers on having products of good quality available in the market.
In working with the PGS, the Agriculture Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and FAO are working with the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), the Asian Development Bank, and other local partners in a collective effort to promote green and sustainable production and consumption in the country.
FAO also provides farmer group development, promotion of market linkages, regulation and standards, technical capacity building, and awareness raising for farmers and consumers, according to Mr Stephen.
Source: Lao News Agency