Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) for IPM in Protected Cultivation
Protected cultivation including greenhouse production systems require adherence to GAP protocols because intensive cultivation in greenhouses often involves excessive use of chemicals since the stakes are high due to intensive inputs and high expectations on quality front. Therefore, perennial production coupled with indiscriminate chemcalization leads to severe pest infestation and consequent high levels of pesticide residues. Older greenhouses often face more severe pest situations and hence maintaining economic profitability of farms is difficult without high chemical inputs as pest multiplication is much faster – compelling growers to resort to excessive chemical use. Therefore, greenhouse production systems require even stricter adherence to GAP protocols.
Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) are “practices that address environmental, economic and social sustainability for on-farm processes, and result in safe and quality food and non-food agricultural products” (FAO COAG 2003 GAP paper). GAP primarily involve the application of good management practices to maintain the consumer confidence in food quality and food safety by taking into account the optimal use of inputs to ensure worker health and minimizing detrimental environmental impacts on farming operations.