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 Local

Farmers urged to adopt MyGAP to ensure safe food

4th May, 2016

By PAUL MU Paul@newsabahtimes.com.my

KOTA KINABALU: Local farmers have been urged to adopt the Malaysian Good Agriculture Practice (MyGAP) to make sure the crops they produced are safe for consumption.

Barisan Nasional Penampang chief Datuk Donald Peter Mojuntin said MyGAP emphasised on the aspects of security, environment, economy and social to make sure the farmers produce safe and quality crops.

“The good agriculture practice is also accepted by many countries in the world. So farmers who adopt this practice not only can sell their produces locally but also in the international market,” said Donald during the closing ceremony of the one-day MyGAP and MyOrganik certifications seminar for the Penampang farmers at Wisma Kinsabina yesterday.

Donald called on the farmers to get the MyGAP and MyOrganik certifications to make sure their crops are safe as Penampang are known for producing paddy, fruits and vegetables.

According to the Penampang Agriculture Department, the size of the cultivated areas in Penampang is 757.47 hectares while Kota Kinabalu is 472.08 hectares which shows the importance of Penampang in the contribution to the agriculture sector, he said.

“Now, the department is training a farmer to plant bamboo shoots on a 5.3 hectares land while another two on paddy and vegetables,” said Donald.

Towards this end, he said the department had issued the MyOrganik certifications to four farms in Penampang with two involved in cultivating vegetables on a 2.4 hectares land and another two cultivating mushrooms.

He said the many efforts undertaken by the government have successfully transformed the agriculture sector from self-used to commercialisation, thus contributed to Sabah’s economy.

State Agriculture Department director Idrus Shafie said the department is now focusing on producing high quality vegetables for the Penampang and Putatan districts by working on a small area through adopting the MyGAP and MyOrganik concepts.

He urged the farmers to obtain the MyGAP and MyOrganik certifications to make sure their crops are safe as random studies done by the department showed that many of the crops cultivated by the local farmers contain high level of pesticides which was 17 per cent more than the permitted level.

Therefore, he said the certifications are very important to enable the farmers to label their produces with MyGAP and MyOrganik to show that it is safe to be supplied to supermarkets and exported to overseas.

To date, there are 259 and 84 farmers applied for the MyGAP and MyOrganik certifications, he said. The demand for local fruits such as Pisang Sabah is high in overseas market where some 7,000 tonnes were exported in 2014 and 8,000 tonnes of other fruits, he said.

He said the department is aware of some farmers using their own “self-proclaimed” certifications to label their produces which is not advisable.

   
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