Farms in Abu Dhabi have excelled in the Gulf region in adopting international good agricultural practice standards, Global GAP.
The number of local farms that has now obtained the Global GAP certificate has risen to 270, compared to some 110 in 2013 and 2014, a percentage growth of around 145 percent. According to the Abu Dhabi Farmers Services Centre, ADFSC, the number of accredited farms with the Global GAP certificate in Abu Dhabi is significantly higher, compared to other countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council, GCC. There are currently 22 certified farms in Oman, seven in Saudi Arabia and one in Bahrain, highlighting the scale of the UAE’s accomplishments in the field of agricultural and environmental sustainability, it added.
GAP is the recognised standard of agricultural production, which include providing safety and security in food production and to those who work in the industry, based on high standards of sustainability in agricultural practices.
The ADFSC aims to provide ongoing training for farmers and farm workers in various types of GA areas, to enable them to obtain Global GAP certification. Currently, 1,080 farm workers have been trained on health and security standards, 107 farm managers have been trained to maintain their records, per the certificate’s requirements, and 13 agricultural guidance engineers have been trained on the GAP quality management system.
The centre has also trained, under the GAP framework, 25 agricultural guidance engineers on the combined management of pest control, and 92 others on the foundations of applying GAP and conducting internal inspections, along with a further 50 on analysing risks, critical control points and proper hygiene standards for farms. Nine farm relations managers have also been trained on how to apply GAP standards and conduct internal inspections. The ADFSC has developed a protocol for local GAP, also known as 'UAE GAP', which is expected to be adopted in 2017.