Participatory Gurantee System Certification


PGS is a quality assurance initiative that is locally relevant, emphasizing the participation of stakeholders, including producers and consumers and operate outside the frame of third party certification. A group of farmers agrees to practice organic farming in conformity to a set of locally adopted organic standards with accepted procedures for documentation, review, certification, and marketing.

Basic Elements of PGS

  • Participation
  • Shared vision
  • Transparency
  • Trust
  • Horizontality
  • National Networking

PGS National Standards for Organic Production

General requirements

  • Habitat management
  • Habitat management is an important part of organic management
  • Diversified plants/trees on bunds and other non-cultivated areas of the farm
  • Planting of nitrogen-fixing trees
  • Creating rainwater harvesting pits and farm ponds


  • Ensure a balanced nutrition of the soil
  • Combination of mixed cropping, intercropping, relay cropping and rotation with legumes
  • Use of trap crops and barrier crops

Integration of animals/livestock

  • Integrate crop production with livestock rearing

Conversion period it is the time required by the conventional farm to attain PGS organic status

  • The whole farm including the crop production and animal husbandry shall be converted to organic management
  • Parallel or part conversion is not allowed under PGS
  • The conversion period shall be not less than 24 months for seasonal and annual crops
  • It shall be not less than 36 months in case of perrenial and permanent crops from the last date of use of prohibited inputs or from the date of taking the pledge, whichever is later
  • Regional controls may allow conversion in phases, but the entire farm holding of the group members must be brought under PGS organic management within 24 months of joining the group
  • The duration of the conversion period can be reduced to 12 months if no prohibited substances have been used for the last three years.
  • Conversion period for animals provided they are fed with fully organic feed and fodder.

Contamination control

  • All organic production units shall have effective measures to check accidental contamination with prohibited substance through drift
  • All organic farms shall be either protected with a biological fence or maintain a buffer zone
  • Organic farms also need to be protected from contaminated water flow from adjoining non-organic fields by adopting proper measures

Soil and water conservation

  • Measures should be taken to prevent soil erosion, salinization of soil, excessive and improper use of water and the pollution of ground and surface water
  • Clearing of land through the means of burning organic matter eg. Slash and burn, straw burning shall be restricted to the minimum.

Standard requirements for crop production

Selection of seed and planting material

  • Seeds and planting material varieties should be well adapted to the soil, climate conditions
  • Suitable for organic management, resistant to pests and diseases and preferably of organic origin
  • In case organically grown seeds are not available then, chemically untreated conventional materials shall be used
  • Genetically engineered seeds, pollen, transgenic plants or planting material are not allowed.

Manuring or fertilization

  • On-farm bio-degradable material of microbial, plant or animal origin
  • Green manuring, intercropping or crop rotation with legumes shall be an integral part of cropping system
  • Off-farm/purchased bio-degradable material of microbial, plant or animal origin
  • Microbial preparations such as bio-fertilizers, bio-dynamic preparations, EM solutions, etc.
  • Off-farm /industry produced inputs approved by NPOP accredited CB as approved input for use in organic farming can be used
  • Mineral fertilizers shall be used in their natural powdered form as a supplementary source of nutrients
  • The use of synthetic fertilizers is strictly prohibited in any form, directly or indirectly.

Pest, disease and weed management including growth regulators

  • Selection of pest and disease-resistant varieties, suitable crop rotations, green manure crops, balanced fertilization
  • Early planting, mulching, cultural, mechanical and biological control measures
  • Thermic weed control or thermic sterilization of soils
  • Microbial pest control formulations such as bio-pesticides
  • Use of synthetic herbicides, fungicides, insecticides and other chemical preparations including synthetic plant growth regulators are strictly prohibited.
  • Use of genetically engineered organisms or products are also prohibited

Equipment/implements and storage containers

  • All farming equipment, implements, and tools, etc., must be washed and cleaned before use on the organic farm.
  • Bags and containers used to harvest, store and transport organic produce must be clean and free from any chemical contamination.
  • Should not be used for storage of conventional produce

Storage and transport

  • Organic products must be protected at all times from co-mingling with non-organic products.
  • Use of synthetic or chemical storage pesticides/fumigants are prohibited
  • Use of carbon-di-oxide, nitrogen or any other such inert gas is permissible
  • Mineral fertilizers shall be used in their natural powdered form as a supplementary source of nutrients.
  • Use of synthetic fertilizers is strictly prohibited in any form, directly or indirectly

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