The Dominica Bureau of Standards (DBOS) in collaboration with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) donated protective and storage farming equipment to nine (9) selected farmers to aid in meeting Dominica Good Agriculture Practices (DOM-GAP) requirements.
DOM-GAP is a national program which seeks to ensure Dominica maintains competitiveness for its fresh produce and is a voluntary farm certification program which targets all commercial farmers involved in primary production for the local and export markets.
The new director of the DBOS, Median LaRocque, said at the handing-over ceremony on Thursday that this program caters for the certification of agriculture products, farm workers and systems in keeping with internationally recognized fresh produce standards such as Global-Gap.
“The ultimate goal is to enable Dominica’s fresh produce to become internationally competitive through the adoption of innovative farm practices that incorporate concepts of globally accepted good agriculture practices within the framework of commercial agriculture production for long term improvement and sustainability,” Pacquette stated.
He said DOM-GAP is geared at testing systems that have been developed in support of the national farm certification scheme and will be targeting commodities such as plantains, dasheen, hot pepper and ginger.
LaRocque encouraged more farmers to become part of this programme as, according to him, this will benefit all Dominican stakeholders and growth sectors such as tourism and manufacturing.
DOM-GAP was established in DBOS on April 2017 for the implementation of the fresh produce quality control act and since then, activities have been expanded.
One of the recipients, Connie Telemaque, expressed her gratitude to DBOS for selecting her to receive this donation.
“These gears and equipment will surely go a long way in assisting us to do our farming activities in a manner that is more safe to ourselves and farm workers,” Telemacque said. “Due to the passage of Hurricane Maria, our gears were destroyed and so this will ease our strain in obtaining them. These will definitely put us in a safe position to be certified growers.”
The farm equipment, implements and gear which were donated included gloves, waterproof hats, goggles, respirators, rubber boots and farm management record keeping books.