JICA funds GAP study programme in Thailand
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) funded a study visit programme recently for Sri Lankan Government officials to gain more knowledge on Good Agriculture Practices (GAP) in Thailand.
The objective of the tour was to promote and strengthen Sri Lanka’s own GAP programme (SL-GAP). Held from 20 to 26 May 2018, the study visit was jointly organized by the Department of National Planning, the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs and Shinga Kimura, JICA advisor working with the Department.
The training was coordinated by Thailand’s National Agricultural Extension Training Center at the Kasetsart University, a world-class training institute recognised as a key provider of agricultural knowledge. It was established through grant assistance from the Government of Japan to Thailand.
GAPS are principles and codes of practice for farm management that can contribute to achieving sustainable agriculture and rural development by improving food safety and quality, environmental sustainability and social welfare, as defined by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). As a result of increasing international demands on high quality and food safety, GAP certifications are vital documentation often required by food importers.
Ten staff from the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Sri Lanka Standards Institution participated in the training. The participants gained knowledge about the experiences of GAP policies and strategies, farm-level GAP management for fruits, vegetables and rice, and GAP marketing with a focus on the spice sector in Thailand.
The programme included lectures by Thailand’s top researchers and field visits to the farmers’ organizations and companies that are leading the country’s agro-industry.
Commenting on the learning achieved, J.M.S.D. Rathnayake, Additional Director General, Department of National Planning said that having learned from the hard work that had been put together by the government, private sector and academia of Thailand, they will be able to plan ahead to take advantage of GAP to increase food security and agriculture exports in Sri Lanka. Post training, all the participants of the programme are deeply committed to further accelerate their efforts towards the development of SL-GAP.”
NAETC Director Programs with participants
Visiting GAP farmers group
Visiting spice collector