Friday, November 3, 2017
Getting farmers in Thailand ready for the global market
Bayer, GLOBALG.A.P., and the Thai Kasetsart University initiated the BayG.A.P. Service Program in Thailand to train farmers in sustainable farming practices. This was an important first step in providing Asian farmers with market access and ensuring their livelihood.
Bayer supports farmers in Thailand in the implementation of good agricultural practices.
There is a growing demand for safe, high-quality food all over the world. A great deal of this produce is grown in Asia, where 77% of the world’s vegetables and 45% of its fruit are produced. In order for growers to have market access, however, they need to have certification; and to obtain certification, they need to produce sustainably.
Training farmers, especially smallholding farmers, in good agricultural practices (GAP) has been a major concern in Southeast Asia. This year, Bayer, GLOBALG.A.P. – the world’s most widely implemented farm certification scheme – and Kasetsart University initiated the BayG.A.P. Service Program in Thailand. The aim of this project is to provide training to all kinds of farmers, so that they can grow in a sustainable manner and be prepared to compete in the international market.
Sharing knowledge globally
In addition to the hands-on support by trainers in the fields, the extensive training manuals are the foundation of BayG.A.P. “It has taken several months to gather all the necessary knowledge for the BayG.A.P. training programs,” said Ronald Guendel, Global Head of Food Chain Relations. For example, farmers learn how to use crop protection products properly and how work safety rules can protect them. BayG.A.P. helps them develop easy but effective solutions. The BayG.A.P. handbook was prepared by Bayer and members of GLOBALG.A.P., and has been translated into ten languages – Arabic, Bambara, Chinese, English, Farsi, French, Greek, Portuguese, Spanish, and Thai – in order to share this knowledge globally.
The aim of this program in Thailand is to enable growers to produce in a safe and sustainable way and get their produce on the market. Then they, in turn, will be able to pass that knowledge on to local farmers. Moreover, Bayer plans to support farmers in Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Malaysia with this training program.
A visa for fresh produce
“For me, BayG.A.P. is a project that helps farmers prepare for a ‘visa,’ so that they can export their produce,” said Dr. Kliment Petrov of GLOBALG.A.P. The program prepares farmers to meet various certification standards – from localg.a.p. or national standards such as ThaiG.A.P. to global standards such as GLOBALG.A.P. “In a similar fashion, GLOBALG.A.P. can be seen as a ‘visa’ that allows farmers to export agricultural produce to retailers in Europe and other parts of the world,” he added. As soon as farmers have learned all the basics, they can move forward and work toward international GLOBALG.A.P. certification – which will be a huge achievement for the growers.
has developed an independent certification system for Good Agricultural Practice (G.A.P.) with harmonized standards and procedures. It incorporates applicable public and governmental guidelines in order to respond to new trends and challenges in the fruit and vegetables sectors as well as feedstock and aquaculture industries.