Agriculture Dept to boost export crops
The Agriculture Department was to issue Good Agriculture Practice certificates to 15 crops, including maize and mung bean, to boost their export potential.
THE government is set to issue Good Agriculture Practice (GAP) certificates for 15 types of crops in a bid to boost their export potential, said U Ye Tint Tun, director general of the Department of Agriculture under the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation.
“We’re going to issue GAP certificates for 15 kinds of crops. We set out 16 processes that have to be followed before we issue the certification. Farmers who can implement this process will get the certificates,” he told The Myanmar Times yesterday.
Current GAP-certified crops such as Sein Ta Lone mango and coffee have seen increased demand in foreign markets, U Ye Tint Tun added.
GAP certificates could be issued for those who apply to export crops such as mung bean, maize, eggplant, papaya, muskmelon and pepper. These crops are usually exported to China and other neighbouring countries. The government also plans to export onions to Thailand according to a new export strategy, said U Yan Naing Tun, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation.
“Duty-free and quota-free exports could be introduced for onions, which are currently exported under a quota system, in line with WTO and ASEAN specifications since a discussion had been made this year,” he said in an earlier statement.
The government is planning to increase the exports of the country’s fruits and vegetables. Several ASEAN countries already have GAP standards in place and Myanmar is doing so to ensure its crops are free of substances such as heavy metals and insecticide residue that could affect the health of the consumers.
To obtain the certificates, the types of chemicals, insecticides and the volume used on farms will be reviewed. And the farm’s land will be tested for heavy metals and other harmful chemicals like mercury. Only after clearing these tests will GAP certificates be issued.
GAP-certified fruits have more chances of fetching higher prices, said Yezin Agricultural University graduate U Nay Soe. “But the certificate is not easily obtained,” he said.