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With international trade in food booming, consumers are increasingly concerned about food safety, how food is produced, and how it is handled within supply chains. New pressures from consumers, retailers, and legislation have placed additional demands on farmers and producers. As part of its commitment to helping developing nations build the capacity to deal with such pressures, the APO is organizing a National Training Course on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) for Greater Market Access in Myanmar, 6–10 February 2017.
The five-day course at the Central Agricultural Research and Training Center in Yangon is organized in association with the Department of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation (MOALI) with a special cash grant from Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. The aim is to help Myanmar increase its market access and exports of agricultural and food products through building the capacity of various stakeholders, including productivity practitioners and policymakers, by adopting GAP at the national level. The course will help participants better understand the benefits and importance of GAP for increasing international market access for food products and the GAP concept, adoption process, and certification methodology.
GAP addresses two distinct issues: ensuring food safety during on-farm and postproduction processes to build consumer confidence; and enhancing environmental sustainability for continued productive farm operations. The development and adoption of GAP have become increasingly important in light of greater regional and international trade in food products and growing consumer consciousness of the quality and safety of the food they buy. Agricultural producers, particularly small farmers, need to have their farms certified as GAP compliant to enhance the acceptability of their products in the market.
The national training course began with opening remarks by Director General Dr. Ye Tint Tun, Department of Agriculture, MOALI. APO Program Officer Mitsuo Nakamura gave the welcome remarks. The course has 45 participants from ministries, public organizations, food industries, and academia. It is being conducted by two APO experts: Managing Director Chan Seng Kit of Malaysia-based K-Farm; and Technical Advisor Mitsuo Numata of the Tsukuba International Center, Japan International Cooperation Agency. Three local experts, Dr. Aye Min, Dr. Hla Hla Myint, and Wah Wah Hlaing, all Assistant Directors in the Department of Agriculture under MOALI, are providing support.