The US Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Firms project has successfully assisted 17 mango farms in Punjab and Sindh to attain the renowned Global Good Agriculture Practices (Global Gap) certification, with a target to complete assistance to a total of 29 farms by the end of the year.
Global Gap is a set of international standards for the certification of agricultural production processes, primarily designed to reassure consumers in the world market about the production of food on the farm with minimised detrimental environmental impacts of farming operations, reduced usage of chemical inputs, and a responsible approach to worker health and safety. Lack of awareness about Global Gap and non-compliance with its standards is considered to be one of the major impediments resulting in low mango exports from Pakistan – the fifth largest producer of mangoes in the world.
Global Gap has served as a passport for Pakistani farmers for entering into high-end fruit and vegetable markets in Europe, the United States, and the Middle East. “We are now better aware of how to improve and standardize the environment in which we process mangoes, increasing buyer confidence in our product,” said Muzaffar Hayat Khakwani, owner of Muzaffarnagar Farms
With USAID’s assistance, Pakistan has been able to export mangoes to the West for the first time, using both sea and air shipments. “Owing to the Global Gap certification, I was able to export the first shipment of Sindhri mangoes to the international market this mango season.” said Junaid Haider Shah, a mango farm owner from Sindh.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 4th, 2012.
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