India GAP to be released

Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: India will have its own standard for Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) on the lines of EurepGAP to help Indian farmers to upgrade their infrastructure and agricultural practices, said K. Anbarasu, Deputy Director General-South, Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) Chennai on Wednesday.

Called the IndiaGAP, the draft was put on BIS website to get public opinion and the standard will be released in a year. IndiaGAP would cover good practices to be followed in producing any agricultural produces by farmers, he said at the inaugural session of the two-day training programme on ‘Adulteration of food products and food safety.' Currently most of the States are following Good Manufacturing Practices, Good Hygienic Practices and Hazards Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP).

IndiaGAP will be in addition to it and it has been developed keeping in mind the needs of big and small farmers, he said. To sensitise the need to procure standardised products meant for different schemes, to prevent the use of adulterated food products, enhance the capacity of officers and to stress the need for upgrading the laboratories, the BIS Southern Regional Office organised the training programme for government officials of different departments.

“The main aim of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act is to protect the public from poisonous and harmful foods; prevent the sale of substandard foods; and protect the interests of the consumers by eliminating fraudulent practices. The Centre has been taking several steps in controlling food adulteration. The enactment of Food Safety and Standards Act will play a vital role and BIS has been continuously supporting the development of consumer awareness through standards,” he said. On Thursday, the officials will demonstrate how to identify adulterated products such as mustard, oil, tamarind and milk.