SEVEN hundred farmers, who operate in the Essex Valley region of St Elizabeth, will benefit from training towards enabling them to achieve Global Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certification.
The training is part of the Essex Valley Agriculture Development Project (EVADP), which aims to enhance the production and productivity of farmers in a sustainable, climate-sensitive manner, while improving their livelihood.
Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Dermon Spence, said that Global GAP certification is critical to the growth and sustainability of the local agriculture sector.
The international certification was developed to ensure that farm produce meets required food-safety standards while minimising the detrimental environmental impacts of farming operations.
Spence said that certification to the standard will make local farmers more competitive globally, thereby increasing the country’s agricultural exports.
“We (Jamaica) cannot compete internationally without being fully certified,” he said, at the Global GAP consultancy meeting at The Courtleigh Hotel and Suites in New Kingston on Monday.