Kheti Virasat Mission KVM – working for the propagation of Organic Farming has been declared as authorized Regional Council for the Organic Certification under Participatory Guarantee System [PGS] for the states of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh. PGS Council is an independent body under Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India with its headquarter at National Center for Organic Farming, Gaziabad.
Granting KVM status of Regional Council for Organic Certification under PGS will strengthen the Organic farming movement in region. KVM envisage that the Organic Farming is the ultimate for Sustainable Agriculture, Safe Food, Nutritional Security, Conserving Agro-BioDiversity and ensuring Food Sovereignty. KVM will have PGS Regional Council Office at Jaitu. KVM has already started process of formation of District level Facilitation Desks in all districts and important towns across the Punjab
PGS “Participatory Guarantee Systems are locally focused quality (Organic) assurance system, they certify producers based on active participation of stakeholders and are built on a foundation of trust, social networks and knowledge exchange”. PGS is a process in which people in similar situations (in this case small holder producers) assess, inspect and verify the production practices of each other and take decision on organic certification on (PGS-Green and PGS Organic ).
The idea of participation embodies the principle of a collective responsibility for ensuring the organic integrity of the PGS. This collective responsibility is reflected through:
- Shared ownership of the PGS
- Stakeholder engagement in the development process
- Understanding of how the system works and
- Direct communication between producers and consumers and other stakeholders
Regional Council is an important component of executive structure, it is empowered to function in a state or multi states. RC is supposed to form local groups, monitor their work, organize training & approve the certification. Initially to start the program the RCs is selected by the ZC and PGS secretariat, existing PGS regional facilitators. The selection process of RC involves eligibility criteria & vigorous selection process that ensures competent organization is authorized to function as RC.
Local groups (LG) is the main functional and decision making body under Participatory Guarantee System. It is a group of farmers that live in the same village or close by villages and interact regularly with each other. Local group would motivate and add new farmers to the group, prepare necessary field documents, conduct trainings, meetings, and peer appraisal activity. At appropriate time the group decides which farmers are to be certified, separate out farmers which are yet to comply with the certification requirements. List out defaulters and impose sanctions and provide certification to the approved members.
For implementing the PGS system, Kheti Virasat Mission has formed three level structures. The State levelwhich includes Mr. Ajay Tripathi, as Project Director, Mr. Jagtar Dhaliwal as Training In charge, Mr.Mridul Gupta as Project Coordinator and Gurpreet Panjgrain as technical assistant. At the District level, District Coordinators who will function as the facilitating agency and will provide technical guidance and assist local groups at the village level. At the village level local groups will be formed consisting of minimum 5 farmers who will participate in training, meetings and peer appraisal activity and ensure that the PGS standards are followed by all the members
For making the things to happen fast KVM team is working day and night, relentlessly, with a highly devoted approach for the betterment of the farmers, for developing pro farmer system of extremely low cost Organic Certification that caters at the grass root level with a mutual trust based system of mutual certificationunder the KVM’s surveillance team. KVM recently organized District Coordinator meet to discuss the implementation plan of the PGS at KVM HQ in Jaitu, Faridkot with some more meetings across Punjab for best of the fastest communication to the farmers of the state. . The work of conducting district level meet of farmers is going to start soon that will lead to formation of many local level organic farmers under the PGS.
Since 2005 after the advent of Kheti Virasat Mission, a large number of families have adopted organic farming either partially of fully because of the endeavor of the Kheti Virasat Mission (KVM). KVM is already promoting OrganicFarming Marketing through neighborhood marketing and organizing Kudrati Kissan Haats at eleven  places across the Punjab.