First meeting of Arab-GAP Stakeholder in Jordan
This meeting falls under component 3 of the project “Promoting Food and Water Security through Cooperation and Capacity Development in the Arab Region”. Among its many objectives, the project aims to enhance capacity for efficient, safe and quality food production through the adoption and use of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) for a responsible, effective and efficient food value chain in the Arab region or in other words it is seeking ways to assist countries and stakeholders of the region to adopt and implement an Arab-GAP certification scheme based on the framework of the AOAD. To date, ESCWA has held a number of consultations including on the scope and modalities for taking the Arab-GAP forward, a process which was informed by an initial review of existing national, regional and international GAP experiences. During the consultations, views were exchanged with experts and government representatives on the possible structural setup and operational modality of the Arab-GAP, including governance structure options. Next steps were identified, including the need to undertake further consultations to validate and finalize the Arab-GAP process, and motivate national stakeholders to take up the initiative. The possibility of having national pilot GAP programmes was also put forward as a way to take the regional scheme from the bottom-up and guarantee ownership of the Arab-GAP. Based on achievements so far, additional work and consultations are needed to: a) finalize the updated Arab-GAP framework with a revision and simplification of the critical control points to constitute the basis of the certification and outlining of a governance structure, b) prepare a number of Arab-GAP related information materials, tailored to the specificities of the region, that would help to promote the Arab-GAP to different stakeholders and advance its implementation; and c) implement groundwork and raise-awareness to support the implementation of a pilot GAP programme in Lebanon and other interested Arab countries. Consequently, ESCWA is organizing in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture in Jordan the First Meetign for Arab-GAP Stakeholder in Jordan ” that aims to: a) Present the available global and regional experiences and provide a comprehensive GAP framework adapted to the Arab region and in accordance with the AOAD issued Arab-GAP framework; b) Consult with stakeholders on the proposed Arab-GAP framework, governance structure and implementation timeline; c) Assess other implementation modalities that might include ensuring commitment, selecting a stakeholders’ task-force to manage the scheme, agreeing on a timeline for implementation and determining who and how to conduct stakeholders initial audits and/or assessments; and d) Formulate any other recommendations on a way forward for adopting and implementing the Arab-GAP framework.