FIFTEEN trainee farmers under the Local Supplier Development programme (LSDP) will this week complete practical training on the global GAP (good agricultural practice) standards for fruit and vegetable production.
The training which started on Monday, is part of the technical capacitation the trainees must go through to become certified farm consultants or assurers.
After completing the training, the farm consultants will train other farmers to comply with the Global GAP standards.
Global GAP are guidelines which have been developed in recent years by the food industry, producer organisations, governments and NGOs, aiming to codify agricultural practices at farm level for a range of commodities.
The practical training involves a three-day study tour of the country’s only Global GAP certified fruit farms namely Likhothola, Maoamafubelu and Likhetlane in Leribe.
LSDP is a collaborative effort to help farmers scale up production and create linkages for market access as well as boost employment opportunities.
Its partners are Standard Lesotho Bank (SLB), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC), FinMark Trust, and the Agriculture, Food Security and Marketing ministry.
A Global GAP consultant, Michelle Groenewald, said the GAP standards would help farmers boost their work.
The LNDC’s trade promotion officer, Moeketsi Khuele, said the LSDP had so far trained 50 farmers who would help train others.
The latest trainees included representatives from the National University of Lesotho (NUL), Lesotho Agricultural College, extension officers and private farmers.