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Good Agriculture Practices for Agriculture Sustainability and Food Security

In this modern era, with the increasing per capita income, consumers are becoming more and more conscious about their health. Production of safe food is not only important for consumers’ health but also for a sustainable environment and healthy working conditions for those producing the agricultural produce. However often while talking about safe food production, the health of the farmer is not taken into consideration.

Dr Poonam Batra
Gap Final
The potential benefits of GAP are a significant improvement in the quality and safety of food and other agricultural products

In this modern era, with the increasing per capita income, consumers are becoming more and more conscious about their health. Production of safe food is not only important for consumers’ health but also for a sustainable environment and healthy working conditions for those producing the agricultural produce. However often while talking about safe food production, the health of the farmer is not taken into consideration.

The workers who spray pesticides are the most vulnerable to its impact. Due to a lack of awareness and knowledge about safe and hygienic farming practices, a greater number of workers are found not using personal protective equipment while spraying pesticide. It is necessary for the producers and traders to adopt good agricultural practices (GAP) to maintain a healthy food supply chain.

What is Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs)?

Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) are a set of principles, regulations and technical recommendations applicable to production, processing and food transport, addressing human health care, environment protection and improvement of worker conditions and their families.

As per FAO, GAP is defined as “collection of principles to apply for on-farm production and post-production processes, resulting in safe and healthy food and non-food agricultural products, while taking into account economic, social and environmental sustainability.”

What are the main Pillars of GAPs?

The main 4 pillars of Good Agricultural Practices are the core principles used for the effective promotion and adoption of GAP. 

  1. Economic Viability

  2. Environmental Stability

  3. Social Acceptability

  4. Food Safety and Quality

What are Potential benefits of GAPs?

The potential benefits of GAP are a significant improvement in the quality and safety of food and other agricultural products. There is a marked reduction in the risk of non-compliance with national and international regulations regarding permitted pesticides, and maximum levels of contaminants (including pesticides, veterinary drugs, radionuclide and mycotoxins) in food and non-food agricultural products, as well as other chemical, microbiological and, physical contamination hazards.

Adoption of GAP helps to promote sustainable agriculture and contributes to meeting national and international environment and social development objectives.

Appropriate adoption and monitoring of GAP also encourages promotion of the optimum use of resources such as pesticides, fertilizers, and water, and eco-friendly agriculture. Its social dimension would be to protect the agricultural workers’ health from improper use of chemicals and pesticides.

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