LANTAPAN, Bukidnon—The knowledge and understanding of key agents of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) from the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) were reinforced with a refresher course on GAP for fresh fruits and vegetables.
National and regional High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) focal persons participated in the training course, which provided updates on the revised rules and procedures for Philippine GAP certification for agricultural crops. This was also initiated to continuously align the GAP national standards with the criteria of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
The participants were also familiarized on the adoption of four GAP modules intended for client dissemination. These modules are focused on food safety; produce quality; environmental protection; and workers’ health, safety, and welfare.
Consequently, the HVCDP focal persons are expected to submit action plans and compliance sustainability plans that will be implemented in their respective regions.
As part of the training, the participants conducted mock inspections on GAP-certified farms such as the Alomah's Place and Umanika's Eco-cultural Farm.
Rodel Maghirang from the University of the Philippines Los Baños served as the resource person on the Code of GAP for Fruits and Vegetables. Other resource persons were Manuel Dimalaluan from the ATI-Partnerships and Accreditation Division and German Yatco and John Leo Gavino Gamboa from the Bureau of Plant Industry.
Maricris Reforba, participant from the DA-Regional Field Office (RFO) V, said that the activity is essential to the promotion of GAP, specifically in the farmers’ level.
“The topics, particularly the updates on the guidelines, were useful. These are important for dissemination to GAP implementers,” Reforba explained.
Likewise, Jocelyn Romasanta from DA-RFO XII remarked that the refresher course was relevant and informative. “The mock inspection was a good learning experience,” she said.
Graced by ATI Regional Training Center X officer-in-charge Maria Lydia Echavez, the activity was held last May 6-10 at Binahon Agro-Forestry Farm in this town.