The US Agency for International Development’s (USAID) farms project has successfully assisted 17 mango farms from Punjab and Sindh and attain the renowned Global Good Agriculture Practices (GlobalGap) certification, with a target to complete assistance to a total of 29 farms by the end of the year.
GlobalGap is a set of international standards for the certification of agricultural production processes, primarily designed to reassure consumers in the world market about the production of food on the farm with minimised detrimental environmental impacts of farming operations, reduced usage of chemical inputs, and a responsible approach to worker health and safety. Lack of awareness about GlobalGap and non-compliance with its standards is considered one of the major impediments resulting in low mango exports from Pakistan the fifth largest producer of mangoes in the world.
As part of a larger mango program that included extensive farmer trainings, mango pack house facilities at partner farms, and development of international market linkages, USAID has helped 17 mango farms from Punjab and Sindh to get GlobalGap certified.
This is a notable achievement given that only 22 mango farms in the country are currently GlobalGap certified. With USAID’s assistance, 12 more small to medium sized mango farms across Pakistan are currently undergoing internal audits to acquire the certification by the end of mango crop season 2012 and a total of 29 mango farms will be GlobalGap certified soon with the USAID Firms project’s technical assistance on a cost sharing mechanism.
GlobalGap has served as a passport for Pakistani farmers for entering into high-end fruit and vegetable markets in Europe, the United States, and the Middle East. “We are now better aware of how to improve and standardise the environment in which we process mangoes, increasing buyer confidence in our product,” said Muzaffar Hayat Khakwani, owner of Muzaffarnagar farms.-PR
Copyright Business Recorder, 2012
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