December 29, Thimphu: The Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA) in collaboration with FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok organised a one day inception workshop for implementation of SAARC-Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) project in Bhutan.
The workshop served as a platform to sensitise all the stakeholders on the overview of SAARC-GAP scheme and its importance in Bhutan. Participants were briefed on the roles of scheme owner, certification body and the type of approval systems being visualised and preparations needed by them to effectively carry out their responsibilities under the scheme.
Further, the implementation mechanism such as identifying roles of supporting organisations and relevant stakeholders were also deliberated. One of the key objectives of the workshop was to finalise the action plan and time frames for various activities designed for effective implementation of SAARC-GAP in Bhutan.
Addressing the inaugural session, the Agriculture Secretary, Dasho Tenzin Dhendup said that GAP is all about good farming practices that a country needs to teach its farming communities to ensure quality and safety of products through recommended code of practices. He added that the implementation of GAP will help us to promote market access and trade facilitation for our agriculture products both at the regional and international level.
The workshop facilitated by Dr. Shashi Sareen and Dr. Atish Kumar Sen from FAO was attended by the representatives from the labour ministry, National Environment Commission, Bhutan Standards Bureau, Happy Green Cooprtaives, Bhutan Exporters Association etc. along with the officials from various departments and agencies under the Ministry.
A few countries including Bhutan are being supported to internalise the GAP in their country. It will basically comprise an identification of scheme owner and certification body; support to finalise national GAP standards and scheme owner, training to implement GAP systems and certification among others.
Compiled and Photo by Choidup Zangpo, ICS
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