LAHORE - National Technical Working Group (NTWG) Livestock- Pakistan organised its first meeting to initiate local interpretation of Global GAP guidelines for livestock sector of Pakistan under the umbrella Agribusiness Support Fund (ASF) with the support of USAID-Pakistan.

The National Technical Working Group (NTWG) Livestock is a platform to harmonize certification activities within Pakistan through ASF which is a local secretariat for GLOBALG.A.P Germany. The National Technical Working Group, organized and facilitated by ASF, consists of a pool of experts and stakeholders from the public and private sector. The local interpretation of Global GAP protocols makes the certification process easier, explained a spokesman of ASF here on Wednesday.

Global GAP is a widely recognized international certification body responsible for setting voluntary standards ascertaining the promotion of safe and sustainable agriculture.

Organizations and farms ensuring the implementation of Global GAP principles and standards are considered to give paramount importance to food safety and ensure promotion of responsible farming techniques and methodology.

Farms across the world that have complied with Global GAP regulations have shown a great increase in revenues and have expanded their export markets.

ASF, since its inception has been an organization that serves as a platform leading to the introduction and the inculcation of progressive farming in the agriculture dominated Pakistani economy. ASF has been an active member of the Global GAP Germany since 2007. Global GAP Germany awarded ASF the status of ‘Host’ in Pakistan for three NTWGs i.e. Fruit and Vegetable, Livestock and Aquaculture. ASF has played a foundational role in the development of the agri-related business of Pakistan and has enabled the enterprises within the agriculture sector to employ modern techniques & practices and build within themselves the different skills, know-how, expertise and market understanding required by a fast-changing economic environment and to improve their productivity, profitability, competitiveness and creditworthiness.

The meeting concluded with a detailed understanding of the advantages of Global GAP integration and implementation within the Pakistani agribusiness framework and in particular the substantial advantages it yielded for the livestock sector. All the stakeholders unanimously shared one voice of introducing the Global GAP standard in the scope of livestock and appreciated the efforts and the stepping stone ASF had set for improvements of the livestock sector.

Tahir Mehmood, Focal person from ASF for NTWGs Pakistan welcomed the members and briefed them about ASF’s activities and the progress of Global GAP in Paksitan. The NTWG members of Livestock unanimously elected Adeel Kakakhel as the Chairman and Mobeen Ahad as the General Secretary for the NTWG Livestock.