Participants observe and evaluate a banana plantation based on the guidelines of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP)

 With the increasing challenge of ASEAN Economic Integration, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) Region XI continues to equip their beneficiaries to become competitive agriculture players.
On March 28-30, 2017, the ATI XI conducted a training on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) for Banana Production in a remote community in Sarangani, Davao Occidental. It was held at the Nursery Compound of Municipal Agriculture Office, Mabila Poblacion which was attended by 30 banana farmers from different barangays of Sarangani.
 Ofelia A. Sanchez, ATI XI Training Specialist III and one of the resource speakers said that GAP certification, among others, is a requirement of our local products to enter into ASEAN market.
“Being a member of ASEAN, there is a need to train our farmers to compete with the rest of these countries. The ASEAN economic integration offers a wide range of opportunity, but as well as challenges in the international market,” Sanchez said.
With the training’s objective of providing the participants with the knowledge and skills on GAP compliance and certification, the resource persons reminded the participants to keep in mind the four concerns of GAP in the production of banana. The four concerns of GAP include; the quality of the produce, the worker’s health and safety is secured, environment is not harmed and food safety.
To demonstrate the knowledge and skills learned by the participants, the last day of the training was allotted to farm visit and evaluation. The participants presented their observation on the farm and suggested actions to be taken in compliance to GAP. Moreover, participants were required to make a specific barangay action plan which will be monitored by ATI XI after two years.
"We are extremely thankful that ATI XI travelled a long way to our small island just to conduct the training. Surely, we will share to other farmers the new technology and apply the knowledge we have learned from this training," Herman Murillo, a farmer leader said.