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SAARC Agriculture Centre

A three-day SAARC Regional Consultation Meeting on “Development of Country Specific Good Agriculture Practices (GAP) Standards and Harmonization of SAARC GAP for Vegetables and Fruits” was organized during 8th to 10th April, 2018 at Hotel Park Village in Kathmandu, Nepal. The meeting was jointly organized by SAARC Agriculture Centre (SAC), Dhaka, Bangladesh, Ministry of Agriculture, Land Management and Cooperatives (MoALMC), Government of Nepal, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Quality Council of India (QCI) and Centre for Environmental and Agricultural Policy Research, Extension and Development (CEAPRED).

Government officials from seven SAARC Member States – Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka participated in the program. The meeting was inaugurated by Dr. Dilli Ram Sharma, Director General of Department of Agriculture (DoA), Nepal as the Chief Guest. Dr. S M Bokhtiar, Director, SAC chairs the session and Ms. Ishrat Jahan, Director, Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD), SAARC Secretariat, Kathmandu, Nepal graced the occasion as a special guest. Dr. Pradyumna Raj Pandey, Coordinator and Senior Program Specialist, SAARC Agriculture Center (SAC) highlighted the objectives of the Regional Consultation Meeting. The objectives of the meeting are as follows:

  • To review the past activities under country specific GAP as well as SAARC GAP
  • To promote standards and harmonization of specific GAP for SAARC Member States
  • To establish GAP network for SAARC Member States in coordination with QCI and SARSO
  • To publish outcomes of the consultation meeting for future guideline of the GAP implementation in SAARC Member States to enhance regional trade

At the closing session, Dr. Yubak Dhoj GC, Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Land Management and Cooperatives, Government of Nepal was invited as the Chief Guest of the session. Dr. Hari K Upadhyaya, the Executive Chairperson of the Centre for Environmental and Agricultural Policy Research, Extension and Development (CEAPRED), expressed his sincere gratitude to SAC for providing the opportunity for co-organizer. The session was chaired by Dr. B.N. Mahato, Executive Director of Nepal Agriculture Research Council (NARC) and Mr. Jaya M Khanal, Executive Director of CEAPRED was made remarks on the program. On third day, the field visit was arranged to government and private farms for all the participants. The three day program concluded with following recommendations:

  • SAC to take ownership of SAARC GAP from FAO and seek nomination from member countries for their focal points with a commitment to perform for fixed tenure
  • SAC to develop a technical co-operation project for harmonization of SAARC GAP in member countries and creates pilots for implementation with appropriate funding assistance by donor agencies
  • SAC to create a SAARC GAP Consortium inviting member countries and certain special invitees and launch an e-Portal for dissemination of information
  • SAC to take up benchmarking with global standard (GLOBALG.A.P) for creating more opportunities for the SAARC farming sector
  • SAC to present SAARC GAP as an instrument for regional trade in SAARC Agriculture Ministers meeting.