Indiagap where GAP stands for Good Agricultural Practices was released formally this year. It can help in the adoption of Good Agricultural Practices amongst the Farming sector in the country. It is bound to meet with some problems due to the inherent unregulated nature of Indian agriculture. It is something like an assurance to the customer that the food is safe for consumption and also provides a basic guide for continual improvement of agriculture.
Implementation of IndiaGap will be voluntary. The long term objective of IndiaGap is to ensure food security and to address health and safety issues, environmental safeguards and also overall welfare. Due to the local variability in Indian agriculture, there is no uniformity in the practices employed and the standard can help in bringing about uniformity. It sets up certain minimum standards that can easily serve as a check for both consumers and tradesmen. It is basically designed around the GlobalG.A.P but tailor made in keeping with Indian practices. It covers-
Fruits and vegetables
Spices and condiments
Oilseeds and nuts
The BIS will work in co-ordination with ICAR to ensure the standard is popularized and implemented in the country.
There have been other such agricultural standards that have been employed by Indian farmers on pilot basis. Eurepgap is perhaps the most famous one. It was established in 1997 as an initiative of retailers belonging to the Euro-Retailer Produce Working Group (EUREP). Eurepgap is now knows as GlobalG.A.P. It is available for any producer willing to accept the standards. Inspections both announced and surprise ensures that the standards are conformed to diligently.