BUTUAN CITY—In ensuring safe food production and consumption, awareness on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and its certification processes is continually strengthened at farm level.
To assist the farmers, the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) lead the development of an operating manual for Internal Control System (ICS) on GAP. The manual will serve as guide on the standards in relation to GAP implementation and certification.
ICS is an important component in the preparation for GAP certification. It is a quality system for GAP that helps ensure safety in the production, processing, handling, and distribution of different agricultural products.
Last April 1-5, High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) focal persons of the DA and the ATI gathered for the preparation of the operating manual, where they also identified the scope of the system. Likewise, the activity served as a training on the guidelines and standards of ICS and its structure for implementation.
Topics discussed, among others, were on the concepts and principles of GAP protocol and certification, inspection methods and processes, farm monitoring protocols, and elements of ICS and its installation.
Marvin Quilates from DA-Regional Field Office (RFO) I and Manuel Dimalaluan of the ATI Partnerships and Accreditation Division served as resource speakers during the activity.
Aside from the lectures and workshops, the participants also visited the Mabuhay-Kahayagan Coffee Growers Cooperative, a coffee plantation in Tagbina, Surigao del Sur, where they conducted a mock field inspection.
The said training gathered 30 HVCDP focal persons from DA-RFOs and ATI regional training centers.