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.
GAP for Rice training. Different groups of rice stakeholders from Valencia City and the municipalities of Maramag and Don Carlos, Bukidnon and the municipality of Balingasag, Misamis Oriental attended the training on Capacity Enhancement on Philippine National Standards (PNS): Code of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) for Rice and Certification Protocols on July 13-14, 2017, held at Central Mindanao University (CMU), Musuan, Maramag, Bukidnon. The PNS Code of GAP for Rice refers to the practices that address the environmental, economic and social sustainability for on-farm processes, and which result in safe and quality food. It is geared towards the prevention and minimization of risk occurrences to ensure food safety, environmental protection, health, safety and welfare of the workers as well as food quality during production, harvesting and on-farm post harvest handling and storage of paddy . With these and with the farmers’ compliance, it will empower them towards producing safe, quality and marketable products. Christine Jane L. Quiamco, Agriculturist II informed the body that as of to date, there are 14 GAP certified farms in the region, four of which produces rice all from the municipality of Lala, Lanao del Norte while others are growing vegetables, herbs and pineapple. Other participants to the training includes representatives from Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) - CMU and National Irrigation Administration. Said activity was spearheaded by the Regulatory Division of the Department of Agriculture, Regional Field Office-10. ###SVAdecer
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