Organic Farmers Association of India organized its biennial organic farmer’s convention “Organic Mahotsav” at Shilpgram, Udaipur from 29th Nov, 2019 to 1st Dec, 2019. PGSOC had set up a stall at the Knowledge hub for all 3 days of the event. We had multiple enquiries regarding PGS certification system, member organization, procedure to become member, differences between PGS India and PGS Organic Council, bulk procurement of products from our FPOs etc. We had interesting conversations with all the visitors and distributed pamphlets, visiting cards, stickers and tattoos.
We had participation from 2 of our members – Pan Himalayan Grassroots and Kudumbam in the Mahotsav. Vishalakshi as part of the PGSOC Secretariat conducted a session on the PGS Organic Council which was well received by the audience who asked various questions on becoming member, endorsing PGSOC for FSSAI regulation. Vishalakshi was also part of the panel discussion on Certification of Organic Cotton in Handloom Textiles of India in which she gave inputs how PGS can be incorporated in certifying organic cotton and handloom value chain. Kalyan Paul from Pan Himalayan Grassroots had conducted a session on “Adaptation of value chains for enhancing incomed for small farmers – from farms to fingers!” and Anita Paul from Pan Himalayan Grassroots had conducted a session on “Participatory Guarantee System and gender equality, Experiences from Himalayas”. We had an informal meeting with farmers from Tamilnadu in which Suresh Kanna from Kudumbam, Karthik and Vishalakshi from PGSOC Secretariat had briefed them on PGSOC. The farmer groups showed lot of interest in getting on-boarded into PGSOC. We derive lot of positives from the event and our participation in the event has helped us reaching out to wider audiences.