Sunday, September 2, 2007

SALM - Good Agriculture Practice Scheme Malaysia


SALM is a national program implemented by the Department of Agriculture to recognize and certify farms which adopt good agricultural practices (GAP), operate in an environmentally friendly way and yielding products that are of quality, safe and suitable for human consumption.


Certification is achieved through visitations to farms to evaluate farming practices so that these are in conformance with stipulated conditions imposed by standards, guidelines and regulations currently in placed.


Farms conforming to the stipulated conditions will receive a certificate of official recognition, which allows the producer to affix seals of quality on their products destined for domestic and international markets.


Three major aspects, covering different conditions of conformance, will be evaluated before a farm is accredited. Most of the conditions evaluated are similar to those listed under EUREPGAP Protocol for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables and the CODEX Code of Hygienic Practices for the Primary Production and Packaging of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables.

These are conditions relating to (a) the environmental setting of the farm, (b) farmer's adherence to good agricultural practices and (c) safety of the produces. Data and information required for the purpose of this evaluation are sourced from site investigations, farm records, field observations and through sampling of products for analysis.


1. Environmental Setting of Farm

>>Legality of farm
>>Altitude above mean sea level (a biodiversity consideration
>>Previous use or history of the land
>>Slope and terrain of farm
>>Soil erosion risk factor
>>Source and quality of irrigation water and farm use
>>Source and distances from pollution centers

2. Verification of Farm Practices

>>Farm records of activities undertaken
>>Soil and substrate preparation and management (including soil fumigation, if any)
>>Selection of planting (variety, root stock, clones etc)
>>Crop nutrition or fertilizer program
>>Crop pest management system (pesticides usage, IPM, etc)
>>Harvesting techniques and field transport
>>Post harvest treatment, grading and packaging
>>Storage of farm inputs and products
>>Farm waste disposal system (empty pesticides containers and other non-degradable products)
>>Farm workers legal status, welfare and safety training of farm operatives

3. Safety of Farm Produce

Physical and chemical analysis of ex-farm gate produces covering:

>>Physical quality of produce such as appearance, infestation from pests and taste
>>Levels of pesticide residue in the produce covering groups such as dithiocarbarmates, organo-chlorine, organo-phosphates and synthetic pyrethroids
>>Contamination of heavy metals such as arsenic, lead, mercury and cadmium.

The minimum standard of conditions that must be fulfilled before certification is given to the farm are as follows:

>>The farm is a legal entity.
>>The farm has a soil inspection report.
>>The soil and terrain is suitable for the intended crop.
>>The farm is situated at an elevation less than 1000 meters above sea level - exemption is given to those operated before 2002.
>>The farm practices sound soil conservation measures.
>>The farm maintains up-to-date records of activities (17 types)
>>Sewage or industrial sludge is not permitted for fertilization.
>>Genetically modified planting materials are not permitted.
>>The pestides used are legally registered by the Pesticides Board.
>>The farm practices integrated pest management (IPM).
>>The farm possess a proper storage area for pesticides and fertilizers.
>>Farm workers use personal protective clothing when applying pesticides.
>>The farm possesses a proper waste disposal plan.
>>The farm practices good harvesting techniques, handling and transport.
>>The farm employs workers that are legal (with ages more then 16 years).
>>Pesticides residues in farm produce are less than the Maximum Residue Limits (MRL) of Schedule 16 of the Food Act 1983.
>>Contents of heavy metals below permissible limits of Schedule 14 of the Food Act, 1983

Source:Department of Agriculture, Malaysia

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