GAP a Must to Grab Global Market
But a Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) is a must for ensuring export competitiveness of agriculture products on the global market”, they opined.
Experts at a seminar in Dhaka on Thursday made this observation.
They said Bangladesh secured the 3rd position in the world in vegetable production, while it is 4th in rice production, 8th in potato, 7th in mango, 4th in tea, and 28th in fruit production. From Bangladesh, 100 types of fruits and vegetables are being exported to 40 countries mainly to Middle East and Europe.
Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) organised the seminar styled “Knowledge Dissemination on Bangladesh GAP” in cooperation with USAID’s Agriculture Value Chain (AVC) Project at the DCCI conference room at Matijheel in city.
Chief of the seminar Dr. Md. Abdur Rouf, additional secretary, Ministry of Agriculture attended the seminar as the guest of honour with DCCI Director Imran Ahmed in the chair.
Speakers opined that GAP is an internationally practiced method to ensure safe and sustainable agriculture production. It’s a set of principles, regulations and technical recommendations applicable to production, processing and transporting method for addressing human health care, environment protection and improvement of working conditions.
While speaking, Abdur Rouf said in 2016-17 country’s vegetable export was US$81.03 million while that of agricultural products was US$553.17 million. The country’s agriculture policy to be formulated soon where GAP is included.
He said the new agriculture policy will lay emphasis on value added crops production and land zoning.
Krishibid Kazi Md. Saiful Islam, additional director, Department of Agricultural Extension presented the keynote paper in the seminar.
In his paper, Safiul islam said internationally GAP is practiced for safe food. Farmers here are not very much aware of GAP, he said adding that there is shortage of GAP auditors, trainers, technology, certification bodies and testing laboratories.
He said GAP is essential not only for maintaining quality of crops for exports but also for consumption by local consumers. “We need to strengthen our certification body. For capacity building, private sector, department of agricultural extension, ministry of agriculture, bangladesh agriculture research council and all other stakeholders need to act pro-actively to make GAP familiar to our farmers,” he added.
DCCI Director Imran Ahmed said, the contribution of agriculture in GDP is 14.75 percent. The industry employs 40.6 percent (around 24.5 million people) of the total workforce in farming sector. To enter into the world market especially the European and US market, GAP and other standards need to be strictly maintained.
“The rampant use of pesticides and insecticides during production, use of ripening agents and use of formaldehyde make crops unsuitable for human consumption. Lack of cold storage, transportation bottlenecks, post-harvest loss, poor packaging, lack of processing, quality control, laboratories, warehousing facilities are some of the challenges in implementing GAP”, he added.
Special guest Md. Azahar Ali, additional director, Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) said adequate trainers, auditors and strengthening certification bodies are most important for ensuring GAP in Bangladesh.
DCCI secretary general A H M Rezaul Kabir, while addressing, said that in implementing GAP, DCCI will play due role along with department of agricultural extension and ministry of agriculture.
Speakers also opined that similar to international global GAP, department of agriculture extension is trying to establish Bangladesh GAP in the country to increase agro exports. They said the demand for safe and quality food produced under GAP have been increasing across the globe day-by-day.