DA PUSHES FOR GAP FARM CERTIFICATION

Print
Created on Wednesday, 06 May 2015

Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) is the farmers’ gateway to the international market. 

This was revealed during the training on GAP-Vegetables in Dalaguete, Cebu conducted by the Department of Agriculture – RFO 7 (DA–RFO7) and the OurFood program of AFOS Foundation.

Wilberto Castillo, focal person of the Bureau of Agriculture and Fishery Product  Standards (BAFPS) said only GAP certified farmers can sell their products to the ASEAN market. He said  with GAP certification, consumers are secured on quality and safe foods. Food safety is a requirement not only  in the ASEAN integration, but to local markets  and consumers as well. 

“We need to ensure that the entire food supply chain—farm production, harvesting to post-harvest handling—are safe and of quality”, Castillo said. 

With GAP, risks of pesticides, microbial contamination, and heavy metal residues like lead and mercury  in foods can be eliminated.  It safeguards farmworkers, protects environment, and facilitates traceability of farm products in the market. 

Castillo said GAP advocacy and adoption is intensified  to address the high level residues of pesticides  found in imported mangoes. 

The BAFPS, under DA, develops GAP standards both on agriculture and fishery products. These Philippine standards conform to the international standards like Codex Alimentarius Commission and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP).  

DA and BAFPS train farmers and conduct on–farm inspection. GAP certification will be issued once  a farm  has complied with the requirements. 

Castillo said DA–RFO7  aims to target at least 10 farms to be GAP certified. He cited Thailand is way ahead with some 164,000 farms certified to GAP. Meanwhile, Jose Dee of the Dalaguete Vegetable Growers’ Association (DAVEGA) committed 10 farms ready for GAP certification this year. 

More GAP trainings will be conducted in the other provinces of the region. (Lolita Maramara – RAFIS)