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Good agricultural practices: an end point or a starting point for more sustainable banana production?

Code: 9781838793418
Charles Staver, Bioversity International, France

Chapter synopsis: Bananas, a longstanding export crop, have not been immune from consumer concerns about food safety and the environmental and human health impacts of production. About half of export banana production is certified under four labels – GlobalGap, Organic, FairTrade and Rainforest – based on Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs). GAP certification is a short-term guarantee to marketers and consumers, but GAPs have also been proposed as indicators of sustainability. Our review of the effectiveness of GAP suggests that they could become more useful by incorporating more ecological intensification indicators with economic implications. The present chapter illustrates the application of this approach in smallholder organic export banana to address not only the yield gap, but also improved synchronization between ecological processes, production routines and cost efficiency. While GAPs are an imperfect tool, they are also dynamic and open to new knowledge and practices, to make the extensive tracking and monitoring required of banana growers more effective, enabling as well better understanding of sustainable banana production.

DOI: 10.19103/AS.2017.0020.14
Table of contents 1 Introduction 2 Why GAP in banana production? 3 GAP-related certification schemes in banana production 4 Is sustainable banana production being operationalized through GAP certification? 5 Improving GAP for more sustainable banana production 6 Scientific frontiers in bananas and implications for GAP 7 Conclusion: mutual lessons between GAP certification and approaches to sustainable banana production 8 Where to look for further information 9 References

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