“It is the farm that will be certified, not the commodities,” Serrano answers to the queries of the participants regarding Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certification.

Dr. Edralina P. Serrano, Ph.D., Retired/Adjunct Professor - Institute of Crop Science College of Agriculture and Food Science, University of the Philippines Los Baños, who served as the Resource Speaker during the Training on Record Keeping and Hands-on Training on the Use of Traceability System for Fresh Agricultural Produce organized by the Regulatory Division of the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office 1 on June 27-28, 2018 at the DA’s Roofdeck.

The two-day training aims to enhance the capability of GAP-certified farm owners to effectively record their farm activities and to capacitate the DA-Regional Office to serve as a Regional Data Hub of the production and postharvest-related practices applied in GAP-certified farms.

Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) has a tool which is the Traceability System that has the ability to track fresh produce back to their source (growers, handlers, wholesalers, retailers, etc.) through barcode. This is a project proposed by Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Plant Industry (DA-BPI) to increase market access of agricultural produce in both local and foreign markets and empowerment of farmers in responding to the demands of consumers on specific food safety and quality criteria.

In his message during the training, RTD for Research and Regulations, Orlando J. Lorenzana noted the importance of GAP Certification to Farms because it is the minimum requirement to export commodities internationally and it is an indication that freshly produce products are truly safe and healthy to consume.

The first day of the training was participated by 42 GAP certified farm owners, Municipal/City Agriculturist, Farmer/Association Leaders, among others. They were taught on how to input data on the GAP records book provided by DA-BPI, while the second day was the hands-on training for the staff of Regulatory Division who will serve as the link between farmers and the DA – BPI through the Traceability System.

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