LAHORE - National Technical Working Group (NTWG) Fruit and Vegetable-Pakistan has initiated local interpretation of Good Agriculture Practices (GLOBAL GAP) guidelines for fruit and vegetable sector of Pakistan under the umbrella of Agribusiness Support Fund (ASF) and with the support of USAID-Pakistan.

The NTWG (F&V) of Pakistan is a platform to harmonize certification activities within Pakistan and a direct link in Pakistan and the first contact point for GLOBAL GAP Secretariat Germany. The National Technical Working Groups of Pakistan organized and facilitated by ASF consist of a pool of experts and stakeholders from the public and private sectors.

Agribusiness Support Fund Lahore (ASF), a not for profit progressive organization, is engaged in the development of agribusiness sector of Pakistan. ASF is also an active member of GLOBALG.A.P Germany since 2007 and in recognition of its services for introducing Good Agriculture Practices in Pakistan; GLOBALG.A.P Germany awarded ASF the status of Host for three (03) National Technical Working Groups (NTWGs) i.e. Fruit & Vegetables, Livestock and Aquaculture in Pakistan. Representatives from the fields of certification, 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 are part of these working groups. The groups work in close cooperation with the GLOBALG.A.P Secretariat and the GLOBALG.A.P Committees and support as well as facilitate the GLOBALG.A.P implementation and continuous improvement based on the specific interest area needs.

In order to facilitate the local interpretation of guideline for fruit and vegetable sector of Pakistan, ASF with the support of USAID-Pakistan organized the 4th Meeting of NTWG (F&V) Pakistan in Lahore the other day, in which 13 members of the group participated.

Tahir Mahmood, focal person from ASF for NTWGs Pakistan welcomed the members and briefed them about the work which had already been completed by ASF on the interpretation. The acting chairman of NTWG, Zahid Durrani requested ASF to compile the comments/feedback of the members and sub-groups and send the interpretation to GLOBALG.A.P Germany for peer review and final approval.

It is important to mention here that once the GLOBALG.A.P Sector Committee recognizes the translation and interpretation guideline developed by NTWG they will become the official GLOBALG.A.P working documents for certification and accreditation in Pakistan. Through this endeavor of ASF/ NTWG(F&V)-Pakistan it is expected that the process of certification and accreditation of GLOBALG.A.P in Pakistan will become easier and more achievable thus enabling our growers and exporters to access European markets and boost export of fruit and vegetables from Pakistan.