Current requirements for producers of fruits and vegetables include assurance that their product is grown in safe settings and with the environment in mind. New requests from consumers, international retail chains and legislation have led to the emergence of new requirements for farmers and producers. According to the new quality standards, applied production techniques are aimed at minimizing detrimental environmental impacts of farming operations, reducing the use of chemical inputs and ensuring a responsible approach to use of natural resources.
As a result, the international standard GlobalGAP (Good Agricultural Practices), which confirms that requirements in agriculture are met, has become a key condition for access to international markets for finished and processed fruit and vegetables.
Global G.A.P. is a system of recognized international standards, created on the basis of the requirements of GHP, GMP and HACCP, which aims to ensure safety of agricultural products and compliance with existing quality and technical requirements.
In this regard, with the aim to support efforts to create more favorable conditions of access of Uzbek fruits and vegetables to international markets, UNDP’s “Aid for Trade” project in Uzbekistan with involvement of the international expert on implementation of Global GAP standard – Ms. Edite Strazdina (Latvia), has recently launched the initiative on implementation of this standard on three agricultural companies in Syrdarya and Samarkand regions of Uzbekistan where fresh fruits and melon products are grown.
In particular, during 3-8 August 2015, the expert has worked on analysis of compliance of agricultural companies with the requirements of the Global G.A.P. standard, including food security, health and hygiene criteria, use of water resources, storage and logistics of finished products. Upon completion of the analysis, recommendations and the concrete action plan containing measures to ensure compliance of agricultural companies with the requirements of the standard were presented by the expert.
“Our goal is to help Uzbek agricultural producers implement international quality standards with the aim to access new perspective markets”, noted Dilshod Akbarov, Project Manager of UNDP’s “Aid for Trade” project in Uzbekistan, implemented with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations, Investments and Trade of Uzbekistan.
“Implementation of the Global G.A.P. standard is, in the first place, beneficial to export-oriented farmers, as it opens doors to international markets of fresh fruits and vegetables”, mentioned Ms. Edite Strazdina.
UNDP “Aid for Trade” project is a national component of the regional “Aid for Trade in Central Asia – Phase III” project and is aimed at increasing income generation and creating jobs through strengthening the capacity of public institutions at national and local levels to facilitate regional and international trade, supporting institutions to facilitate trade, increasing the production capacity of local communities and promoting sustainable practices on the processing of agricultural products.