Good Agricultural Practices

views updated

Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), economically, socially, and environmentally responsible methods and technologies for the raising and marketing of agricultural and horticultural products. Good agriculture practices aim to deliver to the consumer healthy and safe high-quality food and nonfood products in manner that permits sustainable yields and ensures the livelihoods of producers and processors while protecting or enhancing the environment. Guidelines for good practices can cover all aspects of farm production—whether in the field, in a greenhouse, or in a barn—including crop and seed choice, watering and fertilization, pest and disease control, disposing of manure, harvesting, and handling after harvest, in food processing, and in a retail setting. Recommendations have been developed specifically for various crops and livestock, such as avocados, tobacco, and swine, and for different regions and environments.