Envisioning to achieve a sufficient supply of safe and quality agricultural products in the country, the Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards (BAFS) in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Offices (DA-RFOs) initiate efforts towards establishment of Regional Good Animal Husbandry Practices Team (RGhT). Generally, the aim of RGhT is to increase the level of adherence or compliance to GAHP at the farm level. Specifically, RGhT intends to extend technical assistance to farmers towards compliance of applicants to GAHP certification. This effort is being made in line with strengthening of GAHP program and Food Safety Act of 2013.
Establishment of RGhT includes inception meeting, nomination, training and workshop which were facilitated by BAFS and DA-RFOs. The team handling the project from BAFS was led by Dr. Alpha Mateo-Lanuza alongside Ms. Rhitzel O. Palima and Ms. Andrea Anne B. Silla.
GAHP Inception Meeting of Region X held on 12 April 2016 in Chali Beach Resort, Cagayan De Oro City.
The BAFS convene with the representatives from DA-RFOs, Bureaus and Attached Agencies to provide a discussion on the principles of establishing an RGhT along with its objectives, stages of implementation and areas of collaboration. In this stage, the transfer of the GAHP Program to the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) is also presented in consonance with the Food Safety Act of 2013. As part of the program transfer, representatives from BAI are invited for immersion, for the subsequent implementation of the project. Five inceptions meetings were likewise organized for Regions I, IX, X, XI (2 Batch) between January to August 2016.
GAHP Inception Meeting of Region XI (Batch 2) held on 17 August 2016 in Pinnacle Hotel, Davao City.
Training – Workshop
After nomination, the members of RGhT are capacitated through trainings and workshops which aims to develop a uniform and in-depth understanding on the GAHP standards as well as the pre-assessment and monitoring system. It also provides a venue to identify strategies and activities towards the institutionalization of RGhT in the region through development of an action plan.
Aside from BAFS, resource persons from BAI, DENR-EMB and LGU are also invited for specific topics relevant to GAHP. The topics of discussion include GAHP Standards, Certification and Audit Flow, Animal Welfare, Biosecurity Measures, Waste Management, Municipal Ordinances and DENR Regulations related to livestock production. After the lecture proper, the RGhT undergoes mock inspection to apply the learnings on the GAHP standards and pre-assessment procedures.
At the end of the stages of implementation of RGhT, the members are expected to acquire a profound understanding on GAHP to facilitate and assist the farmers in complying with the GAHP standard. By adhering to this standard, the farming practices of an establishment will ensure that the final products are safe and fit for human consumption. Furthermore, GAHP standard contributes to the health, safety and comfort of both the farm workers and the animals, without any degradation to the environment.
As of August 2016, there are seven (7) established RGhTs in the following areas: Regions II, III, IV-A, IV-B, V, CAR, and IX. BAFS has been facilitating the establishment of RGhT for the remaining regions in partnership with DA-RFOs and BAI this 2016. For the succeeding years, BAI is tasked to continue in spearheading this Project.
Training-Workshop of Regional GAHP Team V held on 18-20 May 2016 at Villa Caceres Hotel, Naga City
Training-Workshop of Regional GAHP Team IX held on 2-4 August 2016 at LM Metro Hotel, Zamboanga City.
Training-Workshop of Regional GAHP Team IV-B held on 31 August – 2 September 2016 at Hotel La Corona de Lipa, Batangas.