National Good Agricultural Practices Lao PDR (Lao GAP) Project
Between June 18 and 22, 2013, the Thailand International Development Agency (TICA), the Department of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperation, Office of Agricultural Research and Development Area 5 and German International Cooperation (GIZ) jointly organized the first study trip to Thailand for auditor interns of the National Good Agricultural Practices of Lao PDR (Lao GAP) project.
Fifteen academics and officials from the Department of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Lao PDR took part in the study trip, which is part of the National Good Agricultural Practices (Lao GAP) project under Lao-Thai-German Trilateral Cooperation.
The trip was designed to enhance knowledge and understanding of GAP assessment and certification process among Laotian auditor interns through observing actual case studies as well as exchanging information with Thai auditors with considerable experience in auditing and assessment.
The participants also visited GAP certified farms in Suphanburi, Ayutthaya and Chainat provinces to talk with Thai farmers who focus on all stages of production to ensure food safety for consumers and thus earn international recognition.
In addition, participants were able to observe the processes at product distribution markets including the Talad Thai market and a Macro supermarket as well as fruits and vegetable packaging factories for the domestic and export markets. These visits enabled them to witness the entire cycle of GAP products from production to the consumer.
This group of Lao GAP auditor interns has thus acquired experience from both theoretical training and field trips in Thailand and will be able to adapt the theory into practice as they become professional auditors responsible for developing Lao GAP’s assessment and certification system in preparation for membership of the AEC.