CITY OF ILAGAN, Isabela (PIA) - - At least 20 Farmer Cooperative and Association leaders from Cagayan Valley Region have undergone a three-day training on for Installation of Internal Control System for Smallholder Group Certification on Good Agricultural Practices conducted by the Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Training Institute Training Center in Malasin, San Mateo, Isabela.
DA-ATI 2 Training Director Imelda Guillermo said the Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Program of the Department of Agriculture is being promoted to ensure food safety and quality of agricultural products while keeping high regard for environmental protection and that of workers’ health, safety, and welfare; and facilitate access of Philippine agricultural crops to neighboring ASEAN markets and other foreign markets.
Guillermo said that given the current requirements on GAP certification, the Agricultural Training Institute Regional Training Center 02 is mandated to train farmer leaders to be able to meet the requirements and pass the GAP certification.
She said the smallholder group certification necessitates the establishment of a formal internal control system (ICS), which allows the external certification body to delegate the annual inspection of individual group members to an identified body within the certified operator.
“The ICS installation binds the commitment of farmers and provides discussion to review the existing system of the organization enabling them to develop standardized policies, procedures, and forms and promotes transparency within the farm because documentation is required,” Guillermo said.
She said the participants were able to identify and discuss the status of the GAP-certified farms of Region 2; define the basic principles and concepts of GAP and its application for GAP compliance; explain the internal control system; prepare basic farm information/farm files; identify and assess risks based on process flow; formulate internal GAP standards and procedures; prepare a doable action plan; and the formulation of an ICS manual.
Guillermo said the workshop outputs during the training will be processed to be used in the succeeding three (3) phases until the ICS manual is polished and ready for implementation. The group ICS installation will be conducted in four (4) phases. (MDCT/MGE/PIA Isabela)