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Gov't pursuing GLOBALG.A.P farmer certification

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — The Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries is moving to have farmers certified by GLOBALG.A.P, which is an internationally recognised organisation dedicated to good agricultural practices.

GLOBALG.A.P is the world's leading farm assurance programme, translating consumer requirements into good agricultural practices in more than 120 countries.

Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Donovan Stanberry, made the disclosure during a pesticide survey results presentation ceremony at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston recently.

“A critical part of that GLOBALG.A.P certification is training in pesticide usage and record keeping. We expect… the agro parks to be so certified very soon, so that from that we can engage the market because we have been to Britain and found good markets, where everybody says, when you get the GLOBALG.A.P, you come back, because those people are very serious about food safety,” he said.

In the meantime, Stanberry said the Government has spent approximately $130 million to provide training to farmers in proper pesticide use.

The training falls under the Ministry's Agricultural Competitiveness Programme (ACP). Components of the ACP include farm-to-market linkages; food-safety and quality management systems; agribusiness value chain development.

“Food health and safety is almost a public good, and that is why we spend so much money to ensure that we have the traceability systems. We have a sufficiently robust extension service, but all of that will have little impact if in the end our farmers have not assimilated all these lessons. That is why, in a deliberate way, we have spent the last year or so to train ordinary farmers in the proper use of pesticides,” he said.

During the function, 60 farmers from the five agro-park areas received certification. Eighteen farmers were presented with certificates for pest control applicator and 42 for food-safety management systems.

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