The Agency for Development Initiatives (ADI) has conducted its first training on Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS) for women farmers in the Kyrgyz Republic.
The PGS training benefitted 17 members of the Dyikan Muras Seed-Savers Network, a group of small-scale female farmers and seed producers. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the network only had access to imported hybrid seeds. However, they now are able to grow locally adapted, non-hybrid and non-GMO vegetable seeds. Currently, they have 64 varieties of seeds from 18 seed plots; their seeds include cucumber, tomato, carrot, cabbage and others. The seeds are shared with other farmers and freely distributed to school gardens.
The PGS training was led by Asan Alymkulov from the BIO-KG Federation of Organic Development (FOD Bio-KG) in the Kyrgyz Republic. The training was introductory, covering the basics of the different types of certification schemes, the PGS scheme and proper PGS documentation. Alymkulov shared the experiences of Bio-KG in utilizing the PGS for certification.
PGS that are specifically designed for mountain agriculture allow small-scale mountain farmers to certify organic products through an interactive, community-based approach: rather than by paying for an expensive third-party certification.
This training in the Kyrgyz Republic builds upon the foundation established at the April 2019 “Creating a Global Mountain Participatory Guarantee System” workshop, held by the MP, IFOAM-Organics International and the Pan Himalayan Grassroots Foundation in Ranikhet, India. The workshop’s main outcome was the Ranikhet Declaration for a Global Mountain PGS Network, which established the first-ever international network of PGS designed for smallholder farmers in mountain regions.
ADI and FOD Bio KG are jointly planning an upcoming training session for both producers and consumers who are eager to work together in solidarity for local seeds using PGS certification.