“Good Agricultural Practices involves the adoption and application of good management principles for the production of wholesome and safe agricultural products for human consumption without affecting the environment and the health of farm workers.” Principles
The principles of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) for the production of any crop for human consumption involve:-
All stakeholders involved in the production of any food crop for human consumption should utilize the principles as set out to manage the RISK associated with Food Safety, Health and Hazards
Major areas with Potential Risk
The production profile as shown below encompasses the major areas with any potential risk.
Selection of varieties or cultivars for commercial production should be based mainly on:
Note: Any planting of GMO’s must comply with all existing regulation in the country of production and country exported to.
Handling and Application of Organic Fertilizer.
When applying organic fertilizers other precautions that need to be taken include:-
Hazards associated with irrigation water are influenced
Pay attention to:
– Pesticide Use and Misuse.
– Selection of Pesticide.
– Pesticide Handling.
– Pesticide Application in the Field.
– Pesticide Storage.
– Pesticide Residues.
– Pesticide Disposal.
– Training & Documentation.
Pest, Weed and Disease Control
– Proper identification of pest or disease.
– Use integrated pest management approach.
– Utilize cultural and biological methods.
– crop rotation, insect free or clean planting material,
resistant cultivars, burning infested plant material,
manual or mechanical weeding, moulding and
Considerations for Harvesting:-
– Harvest interval for application of chemical(s) has passed.
– Personal hygiene of harvesters to minimize contamination.
– The use of clean field crates for collection, transportation and temporary storing harvested produce.
– Only harvest sound and mature fruits.
– Do not harvest immature or soft produce.
– Harvest with trained and well supervised harvesters.
– Use clean equipment e.g. knives etc.
– Use clean and sanitized vehicle.
– Avoid cross contamination from other produce, non food sources, contaminated surfaces during loading, unloading, storage and transportation operations.
– Cover produce being transported
All facilities used for temporary storage should be:-
– Designed for easy cleaning and sanitization with sloping floors.
– Well protected to prevent entry of vermin, animals, birds and insects.
– Fitted with screened windows.
– Kept free for residues, waste material or hazardous substances.
With an established cleaning and sanitization schedule
Worker’s Health & Safety, Hygiene & Sanitary Practices
Failure to adhere to good GAP would result in the following:
rejection and confiscation of said foods.
Lack of consumer confidence.
Loss of markets.
Loss of revenue for exporters.
Loss of foreign exchange for exporting country
Spin-offs – Loss of jobs, lower wages