LAHORE - GlobalG.A.P, an international renowned standard setting body for good agriculture practices across the globe, has approved the National Interpretation Guidelines for Fruit and Vegetables IFA V4.02 Pakistan prepared and submitted by the National Technical Working Group (NTWG).

The Agribusiness Support Fund (ASF) facilitates the local NTWG as host and the working group is also provided support by The Agribusiness Project USAID-Pakistan.

This National Interpretation Guideline (NIG) Pakistan has now become a normative document of GlobalG.A.P that will provide guidance to farmers, educational institutions as well as certification bodies on how to implement, monitor and sustain GLOBALG.A.P standards at the national level. The guidelines are valid from 1 October 2014 and would become mandatory from 1 January 2015 in Pakistan. The publication of these National Interpretation Guidelines signifies a notable achievement for the Fruit and Vegetable sector of Pakistan and in the long-term offers the potential to open the gateway for the vast global markets to be tapped by the Pakistani fruit and vegetable producers. Farmers across the world that have complied with GlobalG.A.P regulations have shown a great increase in revenues and have expanded their export markets.

Agribusiness Support Fund (ASF), associate member of GlobalG.A.P in Pakistan, has been a key player and organizer in facilitating the establishment and approval of these guidelines. ASF initiated the formation and registration of the National Technical Working Group (NTWG) Fruit and Vegetables with GlobalG.A.P Germany for the interpretation of GlobalG.A.P Standards in the context of Pakistan. The group consists of representatives from the fields of certification, academia, agribusiness; government agencies as well as stakeholders that are experienced in the sector with respect to food safety, environment, and social or animal welfare impacts. The group in its 5th Meeting held at Lahore developed this National Interpretation Guideline for Pakistan, which was subsequently approved by the GlobalG.A.P.

Khalid Khan, CEO, ASF congratulated all the members and organizers of NTWG (Fruit and Vegetables) on achievement of this significant milestone for the agribusiness sector of Pakistan and thanked all the members of the group for their dedication for this national cause.

He also hoped similar achievements for the other two NTWGs of Pakistan working in close coordination with ASF i.e. livestock and aquaculture.

The National Interpretation Guidelines for Pakistan Fruit and Vegetables IFA V4.02 are now available for downloading on the GLOBALG.A.P website. These guidelines can also be downloaded by accessing the document center on the website, and entering in the query field “NIG Pakistan”.