Dalat City, 20 January 2016 – Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) is a collection of principles to apply for on-farm production and post-production processes, resulting in safe and healthy food and non-food agricultural products, and taking into account economic, social, and environmental sustainability.
Food safety has been a major concern for Vietnamese and has led to the issue of the decree No. 379/QD-BNN-KHCN on 28 January 2008 by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) establishing Vietnamese Good Agricultural Practices (VietGAP). GAP also captures the new market advantages by modifying the supply chain governance, improving the use of natural resources, health and working condition of workers, and creating new market opportunity for farmers and exporters.
Since the establishment of VietGAP, information on stakeholders' perception toward its adoption has not been widely explored. Hence, Mekong Institute (MI), in collaboration with the Center for Agricultural Research and Ecological Study (CARES), Vietnam National University of Agriculture (VNUA) conducted a study on Stakeholders' Perception on the Adoption of VietGAP in Dalat, Lam Dong province of Vietnam. The study aims to seek the level of awareness among stakeholders, identify gaps and characterize the critical capacity constraints, determine the incentives and disincentives for VietGAP adoption, and clarify the issues and challenges faced by various stakeholders.
A one-day workshop was held to validate the research findings and to review government policy support in promoting VietGAP. The issues and challenges faced by various stakeholders were clarified and the possible solutions to address those issues were discussed. The workshop brought together more than 20 key actors, representing government agencies, research and academic institutions, farmer groups and the private sector.
During the opening ceremony, Mr. Nguyen Van Son, Vice Director of Lam Dong Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, provided a brief background on the fresh produce industry in Lam Dong province. He emphasized several challenges faced by farmers and traders in VietGAP adoption and hoped that the workshop will enable discussion on appropriate solutions to address the issues.
Ms. Maria Theresa S. Medialdia, Director of Agricultural Development and Commercialization Department (ADCD) of MI, highlighted the importance of GAP adoption and the rationale behind the regional study on GAP adoption. She emphasized that GAP is a voluntary standard for food safety and quality control, is environment friendly, and will ultimately contribute to sustainable agriculture. GAP also supports the country in facilitating the trade of fruit and vegetables in the region. Pointing out the increasing health and food safety concerns, she said that implementation of GAP has become crucial to protect consumers from food-related diseases.
The workshop is part of the three-year project "Capacity Building for the Integration of CLMV Economies into ASEAN Economic Community 2015", funded by New Zealand Aid Programme.