To ensure food safety and quality among agricultural products, the Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office 10 (DA-RFO 10) through the Regulatory Division recently conducted a two-day Capacity Enhancement on Philippine National Standard (PNS): Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) for Rice and Certification Protocols on July 13-14, 2017 at the Farmers Training Center, Central Mindanao University, Maramag, Bukidnon.
GAP for Rice is a set of consolidated safety and quality standards formulated by DA tackling from the production, harvesting to the on-farm post-harvest handling and storage of paddy rice, aimed to prevent and minimize risk occurrences covering food safety, environmental impact, workers’ health, safety and welfare, and product quality.
The said training tackled on how a rice farm be GAP certified by following the six key areas: farm location, farm environment, farm structure and facility maintenance, farming practices, workers’ health and safety, and farm management; as well as the safe and judicious use of pesticides.
According to Ruben B. Miranda, Chief Science Research Specialist of the Philippine Rice Research Institute and head of the Technical Working Group – GAP for Rice, it is important for the farmers to have their rice farms be GAP certified for people to be at ease with food safety and quality, from production, harvesting, postharvest, handling and storage of paddy rice.
He further emphasized that GAP certification does not prohibit the use of pesticides but controls its reasonable usage, as one of the components of the inspection checklist for rice, which was given to the participants for them to assess for themselves the condition of their farms, alongside with the GAP certification protocols.
The training was participated by the local government units from the municipalities of Maramag and Don Carlos, and Valencia City, Bukidnon, and Balingasag, Misamis Oriental, rice stakeholders, local farmer technician and PhilRice CMU.#JCGundaya
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