Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry has called for adoption of Global Agriculture Practice (GAP) certification to boost export of agricultural products to global markets.
GAP is a set of principles, regulations and technical recommendations applicable to production, processing and transportation system to ensure human health, environment and working conditions.
The trade body made the call at a seminar on “Introduction to Bangladesh GAP” jointly organised by DCCI and DCC-DAI in the capital on Sunday.
“The quality of Bangladeshi crops including vegetables and fruits is good which are exported to many countries, but to enter more European markets we need to implement Global Agriculture Practice, said Md Shoaib Chowdhury, team leader of DCCI-DAI project.
“If GAP certification is given to crops, we will able to export more crops from Bangladesh.”
“Our farmers are 80%-90% compliant. We need to finalise the modules of GAP immediately. Bangladesh is more or less self-dependent in crop production,” said senior Vice President of DCCI Kamrul Islam.
Private sector can play a vital role in convincing the government to finalise GAP soon, but it has to be careful about quality of GAP certification, kamrul said, adding that value addition in agro-products will help get good price in international market.
Bangladesh Bank has a re-financing scheme of Tk200 crore for agricultural development, which will help boost the sector, he hoped.
USAID’s Agriculture Value Chains project chief Michael Field said once GAP certification is implemented, Bangladesh’s export competitiveness will increase.
Though it is a challenge, private sector must come forward to work with the government for policy formation, added Michael.
“Around 100 types of fruits and vegetables of Bangladesh are exported to 40 countries, but we are yet to secure compliance in quality and safety food management system,” said KM Shaiful Islam, deputy director of Department of Agricultural Extension in his keynote presentation on GAP.
“Because of having no compliance, we fail to export more crops in European market.”
GAP is introduced for quality and safety assurance of major crops, Shafiul added.