Policy Support and Governance Gateway

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Organic agriculture and small-scale farmers in Cambodia, Lao people’s Democratic Republic and Myanmar

Organic producers have new opportunities to supply their products to the markets as the demand for safe product is increasing in Asia and in the world. The high cost and paperwork associated with the third-party certification hamper smallholder farmers to benefit from this trend. At the same time, consumers are faced with difficulties to trust organic or safe products in the market. In response, a pilot project in Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Cambodia addressed the certification and marketing issues through the promoting of Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS). Through a training of trainers (ToT) 13 participants (46 percent women) from Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Myanmar were trained as master trainers. At the end of the project, a total of 96 PGS farmers (58 percent women) in Cambodia and 194 PGS farmers (50 percent women) in Lao People’s Democratic Republic produce more than 1 000 tonnes per year of PGS products (mainly vegetable and fruits) value more than 900 000 USD per year. At national level, the participating governments are now developing national documents that envisage the role of PGS as a verification system for organic agriculture, especially for local and national markets.

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Asia & Pacific