TOUR 2019 – India
Agri-Powerhouse India Ready to Up Game on Responsible Farming Practices and Agricultural Exports
 
Two Days – Two Conferences
Organized by YARA India in Collaboration with GLOBALG.A.P.

Taking place for the first time in the State of Maharashtra, the second round of TOUR stops in India attracted more than 150 industry stakeholders, ranging from government representatives, growers, suppliers, retailers, exporters, NGOs, and researchers. The two conferences – in Baramati at Krishna Sagar Residency on 7 November, and in Nashik at Hotel Grand Rio on 9 November 2019 – were organized as part of YARA India’s drive to promote good agriculture practices in the country, an initiative welcomed by both the public and private sector. A key take-away from our first two TOUR conferences in Delhi and Bangalore earlier in 2019, good agricultural practices are indeed a way to leverage businesses to cope with national and international requirements by implementing internationally accepted safe and sustainable agricultural requirements.

Due to its economic growth and investment in various sectors over the past years, India has taken the world by storm. By employing approximately 50% of the Indian population, agriculture accounts for almost 18% of the country’s overall GDP and is thus a valuable part of the Indian economy. Moreover, with an immense increase already taking place within the food service industry and gourmet food market, experts foresee a massive growth within the retail sector, which is expected to reach up to €770 billion in market value by 2020.

GLOBALG.A.P.’s Vision for India: Creating Value for Producers and for Markets
In his introductory comments at both conferences, Ben Horsbrugh, GLOBALG.A.P. Key Account Team Leader and Membership Management, emphasized that GLOBALG.A.P. is well aligned with the Indian government’s strategy, most notably, to double both farmer incomes and agricultural exports.

He outlined several aspects of India’s development over the past 20 years and specifically the development of national policies for increasing agriproduct exports, which has placed good agricultural practices very high on the national agricultural agenda. With that comes the responsibility of providing India’s farmers with proper training on how to farm safely and responsibly as well as deal with the effects of climate change. And with the accelerated growth of the retail sector, the increasing importance of food retail brands, and the rise in consumer demands for safe products, the private sector has become equally part of the chain of responsibility to deliver safe fresh products both locally and internationally.

In his comprehensive overview of the GLOBALG.A.P. system and family of products, Ben Horsbrugh elaborated on GLOBALG.A.P.’s overall vision by outlining the economic benefits of Good Agricultural Practices and certification. He described GLOBALG.A.P.’s step by step approach from Primary Farm Assurance to the Integrated Farm Assurance that helps enable smallholders to access local and international markets. He also introduced GLOBALG.A.P. Add-on solutions such as GRASP - The GLOBALG.A.P. Risk Assessment on Social Practices to promote on-farm workers’ health, safety and welfare, and SPRING – the Sustainable Program for Irrigation and Groundwater Use, which helps farmers implement and strengthen their efforts for sustainable water management in agriculture.

GLOBALG.A.P. Produce Safety Assurance Standard – Food Safety First A Perfect First-Step Solution for India’s Smallholders
The dynamic growth in the Indian market has given rise to heightened consumer and regulatory focus on food safety and sustainable agriculture practices, and in particular on the negative impacts of inadequate on-farm food safety measures following a series of serious health and food related incidents in the country. Here GLOBALG.A.P. offers a food safety solution: the GLOBALG.A.P. Produce Safety Assurance Standard , which is based on the GLOBALG.A.P. Integrated Farm Assurance (IFA) Standard and consists of only the food safety elements.

Ben Horsbrugh introduced the Produce Safety Assurance Standard as a product that is “ particularly suitable for India as it can serve as a foundation for good agricultural practices that can promote safe production among smallholders.” He added, “by enabling farmers to sell products with a good agricultural practices tag and help them develop their responsible farming skills through our capacity building program, we help grow safe and responsible farming in India in a sustainable way.”