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JICA strengthens good agriculture practices with study tour to Thailand for Govt. officials


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The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) funded a study visit program recently for Sri Lankan Government officials to gain more knowledge on Good Agriculture Practices (GAP) in Thailand.

The objective of the tour was to promote and strengthen Sri Lanka’s own GAP program (SL-GAP). Held from 20 to 26 May, the study visit was jointly organised by the Department of National Planning, the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs and JICA advisor working with the Department Shinga Kimura.

The training was coordinated by Thailand’s National Agricultural Extension Training Center at the Kasetsart University, a world-class training institute recognised as a key provider of agricultural knowledge. It was established through grant assistance from the Government of Japan to Thailand. 

GAPs are principles and codes of practice for farm management that can contribute to achieving sustainable agriculture and rural development by improving food safety and quality, environmental sustainability and social welfare, as defined by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). As a result of increasing international demands on high quality and food safety, GAP certifications are vital documentation often required by food importers.

10 staff from the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Sri Lanka Standards Institution participated in the training. The participants gained knowledge about the experiences of GAP policies and strategies, farm-level GAP management for fruits, vegetables and rice, and GAP marketing with a focus on the spice sector in Thailand. 

The program included lectures by Thailand’s top researchers and field visits to the farmers’ organisations and companies that are leading the country’s agro-industry.

Commenting on the learning achieved, Department of National Planning Additional Director General J.M.S.D. Rathnayake said that having learned from the hard work that had been put together by the government, private sector and academia of Thailand, they will be able to plan ahead to take advantage of GAP to increase food security and agriculture exports in Sri Lanka. Post training, all the participants of the program are deeply committed to further accelerate their efforts towards the development of SL-GAP.

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is the executing agency of Japan’s Bilateral Official Development Assistance (ODA). JICA, the world biggest bilateral aid agency, works in over 150 countries and regions. In accordance with its vision of ‘Inclusive and Dynamic Development’, JICA supports the resolution of development issues in developing countries. In Sri Lanka, Japan has been providing financial and technical assistance since 1954 and is one of the largest donors to the country. On behalf of the people and the Government of Japan, JICA contributes to improve the lives of people in Sri Lanka. 


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