Pakistan Horticulture Development & Export Board (PHDEB) and CABI Pakistan (Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International, formerly Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux International), is conducting series of workshops for agriculture extension officers of major districts of Punjab. In this regard, a first one day workshop on “Sanitary & Phyto Sanitary Standard (SPS) for control of Fruits & Vegetables Produce and Marketing” is held today at Ayub Agriculture Research Institute, Faisalabad.
According to a press release issued here by PHDEB, Pakistan being a member of WTO (World Trade Organization) is bound to implement the SPS measure in agriculture sector. The agriculture extension staff has direct interaction with the grower and this training will increase their knowledge base for better understanding of SPS.
Dr. Babar Ehsan Bajwa Manager Technical, PHDEB elaborated the regulatory mechanism to improve the food safety, assessment of risk associated with pest diseases and improvement in the standard with international standard like FAO-CODEX (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points), BRC (British Retailer Consortium) and GlobalGAP (Global Good Agriculture Practices) to the participants.
Under WTO the SPS agreement has its primary purpose of the protection of human, animal and plant life and health through the implementation of SPS measures that are justifiable and are not disguised technical barriers to trade.
The purpose of SPS agreement is to ensure the compliance to food standards, plant health and provide quality which poses a significant impact towards market access of Pakistani fresh fruits and vegetables to EU markets. At present, the lack of wide scale SPS compliance at one step creates opportunities for experts, traders and business to up scale their comprehension on these issues, while on the other hand exerts pressure on governments and private sectors to launch comprehensive compliance models to boost national exports.
The efforts are underway from CABI, PHDEB, TDAP and MINFA to improve the product quality and safety through improvement in SPS compliance. A key factor to be noted and implemented is the cost pertaining to the programmes, installing necessary infrastructure and cost of HACCP, Global GAP, BRC without which export of Pakistani horticulture will be difficult goal to achieve.
Agha Muhammad Ajmal
Mobile # 0301-4499578