WITH the looming Asean economic integration, all stakeholders of the agriculture sector, not only farmers, should be well-informed of the good agricultural practices (GAP) that could help the local industry cope with the challenges of global free trade.
This was stressed by Renato Manantan, regional executive director of the Department of Agriculture (DA) Negros Island Region.
Manantan said that effective implementation of GAP among farms will further boost local products, particularly crops, making these suitable for international markets.
"Through good agricultural practices, we can make sure that our products are of standards, saleable, and can compete with competitors from the Asean region," he said.
As part of government efforts to further promote GAP initiatives, the DA-NIR through the Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards (BAFS) and Agricultural Institute (ATI) Regional Training Center 6 will conduct a GAP caravan towards the Asean Economic Community 2015 at May's Organic Garden in Barangay Pahanocoy, Bacolod City tomorrow.
Farmers, traders, private stakeholders, representatives of farmer groups and cooperatives, marketing associations, city and municipal agriculture offices, and attached government agencies in the province will attend the activity.
"The initiative also prioritizes technicians or extension workers, who are the frontliners of the industry," Manantan said.
The caravan also includes a forum that will provide information to the stakeholders on the forthcoming regional economic integration efforts and how it is going to affect the country, particularly the agriculture and fishery sectors. (EPN)