Advocating ASEAN GAP to EV vegetable farmers

Fri, 09/29/2023 - 16:05

Agricultural Training Institute – Regional Training Center 8 advocates for ASEAN GAP, which is a standard in the ASEAN region specifically for the good agricultural practices on production, harvesting, and postharvest handling of fresh fruits and vegetables. This aims to prevent or minimize the risk hazards on food safety, environmental impacts, worker health, safety, and welfare, and produce quality.

With this, ATI-RTC8 trains food producers about ASEAN GAP to orient them on the advantages of being a GAP-certified farm. Safe vegetables can be produced using Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) protocols. These are methods used to certify products that are safe to eat and have been prepared to meet local and international customers’ requirements.

The training was composed of lectures, discussions, workshops, and actual demonstrations in post-harvest handling. Ms. Emie O. Uy, Ms. Ana Lea M. Layola, and Ms. Ethyl Oliveros were the resource persons on GAP processes from ACIAR Philippines who are advocating GAP. They emphasized the four (4) pillars of GAP which are Quality produce, Food Safety, Environment Protection, and Worker’s welfare.

The participants had a workshop on farm history, fam mapping, and farm layout. They also filled out forms for the GAP farm application for familiarization and visited farms for mock interviews with the farmers as part of the GAP certification process.

Dr. Marilou M. Benitez demonstrated the pre-cooling and hot water treatment to prolong the shelf life of fruits and vegetables, while Dr. Zenaida Gonzaga shared about a study on onion production and the advanced technology in the production of fruits and vegetables.

As a re-entry plan, most of the participants plan to conduct the same training at the farmer level in their respective areas and assist prospective farms that will qualify for GAP certification.

Mr. Julius Ceasar Katangkatang shares, “Generally, I have gained a lot from this training which I could use in my locality. What I have learned from here, I will share and help the farmers on processing the documents for GAP Certification. For more farmers to be aware about food safety, I will conduct a Training on Stepped GAP-anchored Vegetable Production in our locality.”

The training was attended by two farmers,15 extension workers, and four from other agencies from different provinces in Eastern Visayas willing to help farmers in their locality apply for GAP certification. Sixteen of whom are licensed agriculturists.

A total of 21 participants completed the Training of Trainers on Stepped GAP-anchored Vegetable Production (Batch 2) on September 25-29, 2023 at ATI-RTC 8, VSU Campus, Baybay City, Leyte. (With written reports from Emie O. Uy)