Costa Rican authorities and experts from the public and private sectors receive a mission from Trinidad and Tobago to learn about the Costa Rican experience in the application of Good Agricultural Practices.
San José, April 23th, 2019 (IICA). Officials from the National Agricultural Marketing and Development Corporation (NAMDEVCO) and from the IICA Delegation in Trinidad and Tobago participated in a study tour with authorities and technicians from the public and private sectors in Costa Rica to learn more about the implementation of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP).
The mission was arranged to highlight and leverage the significant progress that Costa Rica has made in the implementation of GAP with the support of IICA. Trinidad and Tobago can benefit from the Costa Rican experience given that both countries produce some of the same crops under similar agroecological conditions.
The work agenda included visits to different organizations involved in the implementation and promotion of GAP, coordinated with the State Phytosanitary Service (SFE) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG) of Costa Rica: BPA-SFE Program, Chamber of Exporters of Costa Rica (CADEXCO) and producing and exporting companies located in Siquirres, Pital, San Gerardo de Dota and Cartago.
Mission participants conducted interviews and tours in production fields and packing plants for fresh fruits and vegetables destined for local and export markets. Costa Rica has Voluntary Certification in GAP through a national program available to producers free of charge. The program consists of training activities and support for GAP implementation, auditing and certification.
The mission of Trinidad and Tobago learned about GAP in Costa Rica, including the institutional and regulatory framework, scope, certification and financing. They also learned about benefits of implementing public and private certifications, such as GlobalGAP, as well as some potential limitations.
“The information collected in the study tour provides inputs for the development of the GAP program in Trinidad and Tobago, promoted by NAMDEVCO, to improve access to local and export markets, with the support of IICA” said Shoba Marimuthu, from the quality assurance office of NAMDEVCO. She further indicated it would provide a basis from which to modernize the country's agricultural system in the production of quality foods that are produced safely and sustainably.
The mission provided a framework for sharing GAP standard practices in Costa Rica as a reference point to guide the national actions in Trinidad and Tobago.
IICA is the specialized agency for agriculture in the Inter-American system, with a mission to encourage, promote and support its 34 Member States in their efforts to achieve agricultural development and rural well-being through international technical cooperation of excellence.
Alejandra Díaz, International Specialist in Agricultural Health and Food Safety, IICA Headquarters
Lisa Harrynanan, Specialist in Agricultural Health and Food Safety, IICA Delegation in Trinidad and Tobago