The SVGBS Establishes National Specification Committee on Good Agricultural Practices
The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Bureau of Standards (SVGBS) in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Fishery, Rural Transformation, and Industry have established a Specification/Technical Committee to work on the preparation of National Standards for Good Agricultural Practices - GAP. This Committee is comprised of representatives from organizations with qualification, experience and/or interest in the Agricultural Sector.
The Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) are practices that address environmental, economic and social sustainability for on-farm processes and result in safe and quality food and non-food agricultural products. In simple terms, GAP stands on four pillars (economic viability, environmental sustainability, social acceptability and food safety and quality).
In recent years, the concept of GAP has evolved to address the concerns of different stakeholders about food production and security, food safety and quality, and the environmental sustainability of agriculture. These stakeholders include governments, food retailing industries, farmers and consumers who seek to meet specific objectives of food safety, food production, production efficiency, livelihood and environmental benefits.
The GAP offers means to help reach those objectives. Specifically, some of the Potential benefits of GAP are:
- Appropriate promotion and adoption of GAP from farm to fork will help improve the safety and quality of food and agricultural products. In addition, producers and consumers will benefit from global markets and improve their livelihoods and the national economy as a whole.
- Adoption of GAP will help promote sustainable agriculture and contribute to meeting national and international environmental and social development objectives.
- Adherence to food quality and safety will protect people’s health – an important factor in national development.
- Adherence to the GAP will also increase SVG trade competitiveness when its agricultural products are traded.
Once these GAP standards have been prepared, then a farmers’ registration and certification program will be put in place to ensure compliance with these standards, as well as to ensure that only safe and wholesome agricultural products are traded and consumed.
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