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A remarkable achievement was reached on 15th September 2023 in Palau with the official Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS) certification of five organic farms by the Palau Organic Growers Association (POGA). The process was guided and hosted by the Pacific Community (SPC) under the Building Prosperity for Women Producers, Processors, and Women-Owned Businesses through Organic Value Chains (BPWP) Project. It’s implemented by the Pacific Organic and Ethical Trade Community (POETCom) and is the result of successful collaboration between organic stakeholders.
The Australian Ambassador to Palau, Ms Rochelle Turner, in her keynote remarks, congratulated POGA and POETCom on the successful development of Palau’s National Organic Agriculture policy and continued efforts to get the policy legislated and on becoming the organic certifier for Palau. She further stated, “The Republic of Palau has always prided itself as environmentally conscious and traditionally rooted nation. I am glad that most farmers continue to use traditional farming methods in here, and this provides the assurance of good quality and nutritious food.”
The five newly certified organic farmers and processors are:
- Pure Palau, represented by Ms Leah Asanuma.
- Coconut Plantation, represented by Mr Fred Andres.
- Coconut Oil Processor represented by Dr Janice Ngiraswei.
- Ngaraungiang Womens Group.
- Maltreng Womens Group.
In her welcoming remarks, Ms. Carolyn D. Ngiraidis, President of POGA, shared how the certification of these five groups is just a start as POGA will continue to advocate for organic farming in Palau and already have other farmers interested in getting the certification. She further reiterated the strengthening partnership between the BPWP project, POETCom and POGA.
Over the years, POETCom has collaborated with POGA and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and the Environment. BPWP Project Manager, Ms Neema Nand, shared that the equipment handover and certification ceremony was a great achievement for the project, stating that he certification of these farmers and processing comes after continued efforts into strengthening the organic agriculture sector in Palau, and continuously ensuring that women’s roles and contribution to organic agriculture are showcased and appreciated. The equipment is to lessen the women's workload and support their journey into organic production and processing.
The BPWP Project is supported by the Australian Government and implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC) through the Pacific Organic and Ethical Trade Community (POETCom).