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Good Agricultural Practices

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Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) are specific methods which, when applied to agriculture, produce results that are in harmony with the values of the proponents of those practices. There are numerous competing definitions of what methods constitute "Good Agricultural Practices".

Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations GAPEdit

The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) uses Good Agricultural Practices as a collection of principles to apply for on-farm production and post-production processes, resulting in safe and healthy food and non-food agricultural products, while taking into account economical, social and environmental sustainability.

GAPs may be applied to a wide range of farming systems and at different scales. They are applied through sustainable agricultural methods, such as integrated pest management, integrated fertilizer management and conservation agriculture. They rely on four principles:

The concept of GAPs has changed in recent years because of a rapidly changing agriculture, Wikipedia:globalization of world trade, food crisis (Wikipedia:mad cow disease), Wikipedia:nitrate pollution of water, appearance of Wikipedia:pesticide resistance, Wikipedia:soil erosion...

GAPs applications are being developed by governments, NGOs and private sector to meet farmers and transformers needs and specific requirements. However, many think these applications are only rarely made in a holistic or coordinated way.

They provide the opportunity to assess and decide on which Wikipedia:farming practices to follow at each step in the production process. For each agricultural production system, they aim at allowing a comprehensive management strategy, providing for the capability for tactical adjustments in response to changes. The implementation of such a management strategy requires knowing, understanding, planning, measuring, monitoring, and record-keeping at each step of the production process. Adoption of GAPs may result in higher production, transformation and marketing costs, hence finally higher costs for the consumer. To minimize production costs and maintain the quality of agri-food, ACIAR offers a series of advisable online publications to benefit farmers Wikipedia:Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research. "Research that works for developing countries and Australia". Retrieved 25 November 2007. 

GAPs require maintaining a common Wikipedia:database on integrated production techniques for each of the major agro-ecological area (see Wikipedia:ecoregion), thus to collect, analyze and disseminate information of good practices in relevant geographical contexts.

United States Department of Agriculture GAP/GHP ProgramEdit

The Wikipedia:United States Department of Agriculture currently operates an audit/certification program to verify that farms use Good Agricultural Practices and/or Good Handling Practices. Unlike the FAO guidelines, the USDA guidelines focus on food safety, and do not address topics such as animal welfare, biodiversity, or the use of antibiotics and hormones. The program was developed after the Wikipedia:New Jersey Department of Agriculture petitioned the USDA to create a GAP & GHP audit program as the result of farmers being asked by wholesale buyers to demonstrate their adherence to GAP and GHP.

The USDA GAP/GHP guidelines and principles are based upon a 1998 Wikipedia:Food & Drug Administration publication entitled, "Guide to Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables."

GAP related to soilEdit

See Wikipedia:Compost, Wikipedia:Mulch, Wikipedia:Potting soil, Wikipedia:Organic fertilizer, Wikipedia:Soil borne infectious diseases

GAP related to waterEdit

  • Practice scheduled Wikipedia:irrigation, with monitoring of plant needs, and soil water reserve status to avoid water loss by drainage
  • Prevent soil Wikipedia:salinization by limiting water input to needs, and recycling water whenever possible
  • Avoid crops with high water requirements in a low availability region
  • Avoid drainage and fertilizer run-off
  • Maintain permanent soil covering, in particular in winter to avoid nitrogen run-off
  • Manage carefully water table, by limiting heavy output of water
  • Restore or maintain wetlands (see Wikipedia:marshlands)
  • Provide good water points for livestock (FAO : GAP : FAO GAP Principles : Water)
  • Harvest water in situ by digging catch pits, crescent bunds across slope

GAP related to animal production, health and welfareEdit

GAP related to healthcare and public healthEdit

See alsoEdit

Wikipedia:Portal:Agriculture and Agronomy


Further readingEdit

External linksEdit

fr:Bonne pratique agricole ko:농산물우수관리제도 ms:Amalan Pertanian Baik ja:適正農業規範 pl:Good Agricultural Practice zh:良好农业规范

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