1-1) Course Description
Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) refers to the approaches, principles, and standards applied to on-farm production to ensure the safety of food and nonfood agricultural products. These were established to encourage the production of high-quality, safe agricultural and food products produced in environmentally and socially acceptable ways to meet retailers’ and consumers’ requirements. The GAP standard addresses two distinct issues: ensuring food safety during on-farm processes to build consumer confidence in products; and enhancing environmental sustainability for continued productive farm operations. The development and adoption of GAP have become more important in light of increasing regional and international trade in agricultural and food products and growing consciousness of consumers of the quality and safety of the food products they buy.
Agricultural producers, particularly small farmers, need to have their farms certified as GAP compliant to enhance the acceptability of their products. Several countries have developed their own GAP standards and certification systems. However, the lack of harmonization between national GAP schemes among countries and scarcity of affordable certification systems have often led to increased confusion and higher certification costs for farmers and exporters. Those with contractual relations with several retailers also complain about multiple audits against different criteria set by different groups of retailers every year.
An understanding of the approaches, principles, and standards of GAP and benchmarking of national GAP schemes against globally recognized guidelines like the GLOBALGAP standard is essential so that stakeholders in various APO member countries can properly orient and guide small farmers in meeting established GAP standards.
1-2) Course Objectives
The course is organized to assist agricultural producers, extension workers, and other technical personnel to understand, adopt, and maintain GAP approaches, principles, and systems to increase farm productivity, establish safe, sustainable production systems, and enhance access to markets with GAP requirements. The specific objectives are to:
a. Enable participants to understand the key concepts as well as the basic principles, tools, and techniques for promoting and adopting GAP;
b. Provide opportunities for SME farm production units to understand and adopt GAP in their production processes independently; and
c. Promote direct linkages between small and rural farmers and the market as the adoption of GAP increases farm productivity and assures safe, sustainable production.