SNV organised a Training of Trainers (ToT) workshop on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) in Paba, Rajshahi on 22 and 23 August 2017 for staff of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), field staff and quality control staff of the local agro-processing Companies, such as PRAN and Kishwan, as well as hub-leaders or lead-farmers of PRAN.
These trainers will then in turn guide the 10,000 farmers in safe production of mango and tomato, who are the beneficiaries of the project “Improving consumer awareness and access to certified safe tomato and mango products in Bangladesh”, funded by the European Union.
Mahbub Ullah, Project Coordinator of SNV, opened the workshop by welcoming participants and providing an overview of the project and the agenda for the training workshop. He encouraged all participants to share their insights and their experience in using good agricultural practices in the field. Guest of honour Md. Abdul Hannan (Additional Director of the Department of Agricultural Extension of the Rajshahi Region of the Ministry of Agriculture), emphasised the contribution of GAP to producing quality tomato and mango products and the necessity of these ToT workshops. "Bangladesh is predominantly an agricultural country an the sector contributes to the economy significantly. However, the implementation of GAP in the field is still lagging, especially during the post-harvest stage." Dr. Uwe Weber and Silvia Sartori from project partner SWITCH-Asia Network Facility were present at the inaugural ceremony as special guests. Dr. Weber briefed participants about SWITCH-Asia and its activities in Asia, mentioning that Bangladesh is a very important country for them as they are leading important projects in Bangladesh, along with the one implemented by SNV.
Various resource persons especially Dr. ASM Abdur Razzaque, Deputy Director (Ex-Program Coordinator, Safe Food Production Program, DAE, Khamarbari, Dhaka; Dr. Sorof Uddin, Senior Scientific Officer (SSO), Regional Mango Research Station, Chapainawabganj; Md. Rafiqul Islam, Deputy Director, DAE, Natore; Md. Joynal Abedin, Deputy Director, DAE, Rajshahi Region; Md. Monjurul Huda, Deputy Director, DAE, Chapainawabganj along with other DAE experts delivered their presentation and conducted sessions on GAP, emphasizing on production technology, and insect and disease management of mango & tomato. Agriculture experts led different sessions during the workshop and stated that they would be happy to support the participants after the training in their activities in the field. The workshop was moderated by dr. Md. Shah Kamal Khan, Horticultural Expert & Course Coordinator, SNV, and briefed participants on GAP roll-out plan to reach 5000 mango and 5000 tomato growers.
The project is working on successful engagement with respective supply chain actors, i.e. 5,000 mango and 5,000 tomato farmers, hub-leaders, collectors, traders and agro-food processing companies to bring substantial change to tomato and mango processed food, i.e. mango juice, mango bar, pickle, tomato sauce and tomato ketchup etc. The project targets over 12 million consumers in the Dhaka district, and collaborates with other national associations and public agencies that are active in the horticulture sub-sector in the country.