An elaborative documentary about a Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) developed and applied by Uluguru Mountain farmers.
PARTICPATORY GUARANTEE SYSTEMS: THE CASE OF THE MAENDELO FARMER GROUP
Facilitation on organic agriculture completely changed these farmers’ lifes and nowadays, with the PGS, they are able to market their vegetables as certified products. This is an important step to change the food system in Tanzania, where usually almost all of the certified products are produced for export market. People are aware about health issues regarding unsafe use of pesticides and other synthetic inputs, which are very common in the country and regularly reported on local media. Hence, Tanzania has demand for organic vegetables, fruits and grains. Nevertheless, there is a lot to do. Customers have to be sensitized that such products are now available, and that they are safe to use. The PGS is the right solution for this country, where most of the farmers hold land with less than 2 hectars. A commonly used third party certification would not be affordable for such small scale farmers .
A SAT study has shown that people are even willing to pay slightly more for organic products. This is not necessary, since the products don’t significantly differ regarding their prices. Many times the prices are the same like for conventional products. For small scale farmers it pays off, since they can produce without expensive use of chemical inputs. Furthermore, a benefit is, that they can intensify their produtction systems in a sustainable way. This makes for instance shifting cultivation (slash & burn) not anymore a precondition for having a good harvest.
Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania (SAT) has developed a special module to encourage farmers to launch and use PGS to have better and more specific access with their products. At the moment three further farmer groups, who collaborate with SAT, are in the process of getting their PGS approved by Tanzania Organic Agriculture Movement (TOAM) which is in the country the responsible institution for issuing a PGS certificate.
The documentary is produced by International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) in collaboration with SAT.