Establishing certification systems for mountain producers in Mongolia


A certification scheme for small-scale mountain producers has successfully launched in Mongolia.

A Participatory Guarantee System specifically designed for mountain agriculture (Mountain PGS) allows small-scale farmers to certify organic products through an interactive, community-based approach rather than by paying for an expensive third-party certification.

Development of a Mountain PGS in the Selenge province of Mongolia began in May 2019 with workshops for trainers, held by the Pan Himalayan Grassroots Development Foundation with the Adventist Development & Relief Agency (ADRA) Mongolia.The workshops targeted 100 stakeholders, from herders to beekeepers, who designed a certification scheme to fit the context of the Selenge province.

The “Selenge Organic” PGS organization was establishedand registered with the Mongolian Ministry of Agriculture. As of November 2019, 112 farmers of 23 primary cooperatives in the province were registered.

“The PGS acted as a unifying force to enhance the collaboration among coop members and coops in different villages of Selenge province,” says Undrakh Banzragch, ADRA Mongolia Project Officer. “As a result, farmers marketed their products in collaboration through the cooperative union and under a single brand name. However, lot of work has to be done to promote organic agriculture, PGS and farmers in the coming years.”

Mongolia’s need for a PGS has developed following recent changes to the Mongolian Law on Organic Food. In 2018, the law was updated to include procedures, requirements and registration of PGSs. Implementing a PGS in Mongolia is a promising way for organic farmers to adhere to these new legal requirements.

The Selenge PGS builds upon the foundation established at the April 2019 “Creating a Global Mountain Participatory Guarantee System” workshop, held by the Mountain Partnership (MP) in Ranikhet, India. The workshop’s main outcome was the Ranikhet Declaration for a Global Mountain PGS Network, which established the first-ever international network of PGSs designed for smallholder farmers in mountain regions. It was also thanks to the Ranikhet workshop that ADRA and the Pan Himalayan Grassroots Development Foundation formed a knowledge sharing connection, leading to their collaboration on the Selenge PGS workshops.

This Mountain PGS is part of the global Mountain PGS network created by the MP.  The first regional Mountain PGS Training of Multipliers for Latin America will take place from 18 to 22 November 2019 in Lima, Peru. The training will equip key members from Peru, Panama and Bolivia to implement successful Mountain PGSs in their communities.

News from the Pan Himalayan Grassroots Development Foundation and the Adventist Development & Relief Agency (ADRA)

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