About Participatory Guarantee System Of India (PGS-India)

Participatory Guarantee System of India (PGS-India) is a quality assurance initiative that is locally relevant emphasizing the participation of stakeholders, including producers and consumers and operates outside the frame of third-party certification. As per IFOAM (2008) definition "Participatory Guarantee Systems are locally focused quality assurance systems. They certify producers based on active participation of stakeholders and are built on a foundation of trust, social networks and knowledge exchange”. In the case of organic agriculture, PGS is a process in which people in similar situations (in this case producers) assess, inspect and verify the production practices of each other and collectively declare the entire holding of the group as organic. PGS system has number of basic elements which embrace a participatory approach, a shared vision, transparency and trust.


Participation is an essential and dynamic part of PGS. Key stakeholders (producers, consumers, retailers, traders and others such as NGOs) are engaged in the initial design, and then in the operation of the PGS and decision making. The idea of participation embodies the principle of 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.

Shared Vision

Collective responsibility for implementation and decision making is driven by common shared vision. All the key stakeholders (producers, facilitating agencies, NGOs, social organizations, State Governments and state agencies) support the guiding principles and goals, PGS is striving to achieve and this is achieved initially through their participation and support in the design and then by joining it.


Transparency is created by having all stakeholders, including producers and consumers, aware of exactly how the guarantee system works to include the standards, the organic guarantee process (norms) with clearly defined and documented systems and how decisions are made.


The integrity base upon which PGS-India programme is built, is rooted in the idea that producers can be trusted and that the organic guarantee system can be an expression and verification of this trust. The foundation of this trust is built from the idea that the key stakeholders collectively develop their shared vision and then collectively continue to shape and reinforce their vision through the PGS. Source: https://pgsindia-ncof.gov.in/.