The Government of India has certified 14,491 ha of Traditional Organic Areas 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.
What is Large Area Certification (LAC) Scheme?
- The organic certification has been given under the Large Area Certification (LAC) Scheme of the PGS-India (Participatory Guarantee System) certification programme.
- 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 enmass 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.
About the certified Islands
- Car Nicobar and Nancowry group of Islands have been traditionally organic for ages.
- The administration has also banned the sale, purchase and usage of any chemical inputs of GMO seeds in these islands.
How was it done?
- The administration of UT in collaboration with local communities prepared the island-wise and farmer wise database of land holding, practices being adopted, input usage history etc.
- An expert committee has verified their organic status and recommended for declaration of the area as certified organic under the PGS-India certification programme.
- Based on these reports, the Government of India certified 14,491 ha area under Car Nicobar and Nancowry group of islands in UT of A&N Islands.
Which other areas can be certified organic?
- Besides these islands, agriculture areas in States like Himachal, Uttarakhand, North Eastern states and tribal belts of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, desert districts of Rajasthan which are essentially free from the use of chemical inputs can be transformed to certified organic.
- Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW) in consultation with states is working to identify such areas, transform them to certified organic and facilitate the marketing of area-specific niche products through branding and labelling.
Schemes promoting organic/natural farming
- Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana
- Organic Mission in North East