‘Large Area Certification’ Scheme

    0
    733

    In News

    The Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW) is working to identify Traditional Organic Areas to transform them into certified organic production hubs.

    About

    • The Government of India has certified 14,491 ha of such area under Car Nicobar and Nancowry group of islands in UT of A&N Islands
    • This area becomes the first large contiguous territory to be conferred with organic certification under the ‘Large Area Certification’ (LAC) scheme of the PGS-India (Participatory Guarantee System) certification programme.
    • After Andaman and Nicobar (A&N) Islands, Lakshadweep and Ladakh are proactively taking steps for the transformation of their traditional organic areas to certified organic.

    Large Area Certification’ (LAC) scheme 

    • Under LAC, each village in the area is considered as one cluster/group.
      • All farmers with their farmland and livestock need to adhere to the standard requirements and on being verified get certified in mass without the need to go under conversion period.
    • Certification is renewed on annual basis through verification by a process of peer appraisals as per the process of PGS-India.
    • The LAC is a quick certification programme under the Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana.

    Significance

    • As per the established norm of organic production systems, the areas having chemical input usage history are required to undergo a transition period of minimum 2-3 years to qualify as organic. 
    • During this period, farmers need to adopt standard organic agriculture practices and keep their farms under the certification process. 
    • On successful completion, such farms can be certified as organic after 2-3 years. The certification process also requires elaborate documentation and time to time verification by the certification authorities. 
    • LAC is a Quick certification process that is cost-effective and farmers do not have to wait for 2-3 years for marketing PGS organic certified products.

    Organic Farming 

    • Organic cultivation doesn’t involve the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers and thus helps to maintain a harmonious balance among the various complex ecosystems.
    • Benefits: It  has been identified as a viable option promising safe and chemical residue-free food and long-term sustainability of food production systems
      • COVID-19 pandemic has further augmented the importance, need and demand.
    • Initiatives: Realising the importance of environmental and human benefits of chemical-free farming, the Government of India through the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare has been promoting organic/ natural farming through various schemes of Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana, Organic Mission in North East etc. since 2014. 
    • Status in India: India now has more than 30 lakh ha area registered under organic certification and slowly more and more farmers are joining the movement.
      • As per the international survey report (2021) India ranks at 5th place in terms of area and is at the top in terms of total number of producers (base year 2019).

    Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojna (PKVY)

    • It is an elaborated component of Soil Health Management (SHM) of major project National Mission of Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA).
    • Under PKVY, Organic farming is promoted through adoption of organic village by cluster approach and PGS certification.
    • Fifty or more farmers will form a cluster having 50 acre land to take up the organic farming under the scheme.
    • The produce will be pesticide residue free and will contribute to improving the health of the consumer.

    Source: PIB