Good Agricultural Practices are said to be key in providing a toolkit to mitigate challenges facing the agricultural sector, ranging from climate change to market fluctuations.
It is in this regard that the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in partnership with Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS) held a consultative workshop in Pandamatenga this week, to sensitise farmers about the Development of Quality Management System (QMS) and Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs).
The objective of the workshop was to empower farmers and enrich the nation’s agricultural landscape through united vision and a set of standards that guide towards sustainable and effective agricultural practices.
Speaking during the event, FAO Representative, Lesedi Modo stated that good agricultural practices emphasise sustainable practices that minimise the environmental footprint of agriculture, adopting eco-friendly techniques to protect ecosystems, conserve natural resources and contribute to a greener future. Modo noted that these practices encompass a wide array of techniques that promote soil health, water conservation, crop management and livestock husbandry.
She further highlighted that the development of good agricultural practices aims to strengthen the nation’s food security by optimising agricultural production and reducing post-harvest losses. Modo noted that through adherence to these practises, yields can be maximised to ensure a stable supply of high-quality food for the communities.
She stated that the active participation of farmers is key to the success of this endeavour as their insights and experiences are invaluable in shaping practical and effective guidelines. Modo has indicated that developing good agricultural practices can enhance the livelihoods of both large and small scale farmers by increasing their income through improved yields and reduced production costs.
“By ensuring product quality and safety, good agricultural practices can also open doors to international markets, boosting export opportunities and economic growth,” she said,
According to Modo, standardisation enables the streamline processes, enhance productivity and mitigate risks, ultimately contributing to food security and economic growth.
For his part, Pandamatenga Farmers Commercial Farmers Agronomist Kabo Bowe appreciated that the workshop is beneficial to them as they would be able to produce high quality products that meet international standards.