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‘Apply for myGAP cert to enter international markets’
Tarikh : 10 Sep 2019  Sumber Berita: The Borneo Post

MIRI: Farmers here are urged to apply for myGAP certification for good product practice, to enable their product and produce penetrate national and international markets.

According to Assistant Minister of Agriculture Dr Abdul Rahman Ismail, local market alone was insufficient to help local farmers boost their economy.

“We import about RM3.6 billion worth of agriculture products annually, meaning our money is flowing out. We have a lot of good land for farming, yet we import agriculture products from outside.

“That is why our chief minister wants us to double our effort and become exporter of agriculture producce to not only Peninsular Malaysia, but also to Brunei, China, Japan or the Middle East,” he said at the launching of a three-day MyGap Agriculture Products Promotion and Sales Programme at Emart Riam here Saturday.

Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Datuk Sebastian Ting and acting director of Sarawak Agriculture Department Dr Alvin Chai Lian Kuet were also present.

As such, local farmers must implement good agriculture practice and grow produce that would not have negative effect on the people’s health, he said.

“We will help local farmers market their produce by bringing in anchor companies that will purchase these produce from them and sell them, including to international market.

“In the past, we helped farmers through subsidy and fertilisers, but when their farms started producing, we let them look for their own buyers. Local market alone is not enough,” said Abdul Rahman.

As most countries only allow produce with good agriculture practice certification, it is important for farmers to make an extra effort to have myGAP certification for their produce.

“We should not only see this as a way to market the produce but produce with myGAP certification are also good for our health. We also want to consume produce that will not have negative effect on our health.

“Brunei and Singapore for example do not import produce without good agriculture practice certification,” he added.

Dr Abdul Rahman added that the Sarawak government’s targets was that by 2030, local farmers would have a monthly income of at least RM4,500 to Sarawak an exporter of agriculture produce.

Chai, who spoke earlier, meanwhile said myGAP is a rebranding of Good Farm Practice Scheme Malaysia (SALM), Livestock Farm Practices Scheme (SALT) and Malaysian Aquaculture Farm Certification Scheme (SPLAM).

“myGAP is a certification devised by the Agriculture Department in 2002 to recognise farms that have good agriculture practice, environmentally friendly and looks after the welfare of its workers in order to produce high quality and safe produce.

“Until August this year, the Agriculture Department has received a total of 337 myGAP application, and 25 applications alone this year,” he said.

From the total, he said that 164 applications had been given myGAP certification while 13 received their certificate yesterday. The rest are still in process.