This is the fifth and final installment in the feature series: Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) in Africa. GAP is a product of many institutions involved in agricultural interests and is used to increase farm productivity, improve quality and expand markets. This report looks at GAP’s promotion of attainable economic goals. Voice of America's Cole Mallard reports.
A specialist in promoting GAP’s attainable economic goals says using Good Agricultural Practices leads to a sustainable livelihood. Cosmas Kyengo is the technical manager of the Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya, an organization that helps farmers and exporters to comply with GAP requirements. He says following GAP’s recommendations means the wise use of resources and more efficient farm production.
Kyengo says African farmers want to use GAP procedures because of increasing demands by European markets for Africa’s produce, as well as for quality and safety. He says African farmers are also motivated by the desire for sustainable profits.
Kyengo says there are no disadvantages to using the GAP protocol, but there are challenges, one of which is illiteracy. He says farmers who cannot read and write “may not be able to keep the records required; they may not have the know-how to deal with some of the technical aspects of Good Agricultural Practices, like maximum residue levels, things like testing and monitoring of the activities they are carrying out.”
Kyengo also discusses “KenyaGAP,” which is “a national scheme based on good agricultural principals that are adapted to Kenyan farming conditions.” He says KenyaGap uses the principles of GAP, and this has led Kenya to be accepted into the European market: ”In other words, we’ve acquired EuropeGAP status or its equivalent.” He says this incorporates “every single farming process…whether it’s the safe use of chemicals, whether it’s environmental issues, occupational health and safety, at any level of farming within the country, and that is what’s called KenyaGAP.”