JICA funds GAP study pro­gramme in Thai­land

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) - - LIFE -

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

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