Governments have encouraged cooperation among diverse stakeholders at the local and national levels for effective programme and policy design as well as implementation of GAP. Representatives of consumer groups and retailers, processors, producers, and service providers from the private sector, civil society and government may have divergent interests and stakes in GAP (Figure 2 provides an example for officially accepted counterparts in case of plant protection concerns in Germany, www.bmelv.de).
The BAP approach must take into account the views and priorities of these different stakeholders whose involvement spans the product chain to enhance awareness, exchange information and build consensus on the way forward.
Putting BAP into the GAP approach as an integral part will require attention to mechanisms and processes for engaging those diverse stakeholders who are already well integrated into the dialogue while building the skills and capacity in process and practice of more marginalized groups whose presence has been less evident.
Capturing lessons learned, sharing information, raising awareness and enhancing skills and capacity are important elements to advance the development of the BAP approach. These elements apply at varying levels to farmers and producers, to institutions that provide agricultural services including research and extension, and to retailers, processors and consumers (FAO, 2004). Capacity building efforts must be put in place to assist producers in transitioning from their agricultural practice to GAP and further on to implement the BAP approach in their Code of Practice.
There is an important role for national governmental organizations to play in providing coordination and guidance in the preparation of educational materials or providing workshops with farmers to build upon existing GAPs, assist in clarifying GAPs and integrating the BAP self-optimization procedure within the landscape of regulations, certifications and market requirements (both national and international), provide information on implementing relevant GAPs and build capacity for certification. Farmers who have achieved success in implementing GAPs, Codes of Practice and BAPs are an important resource for the transition to sustainable agriculture.
These efforts can build upon the abundance of such information in the National Agricultural Extension Services, international and local non-governmental organizations, and commodity producer organizations. Improving the capacity of extension services and agricultural service providers from government and non-governmental organizations will be of continued importance.
The development of a GAP and BAP approach must include a strategy for building knowledge
and capacity of, and information exchange among the broad range of stakeholders.
It is of crucial importance to build up networks including science as relevant partner
for the creation of innovative developments. In Germany, e.g. the German Phytomedical
Society fits into these goals (www.phytomedizin.org).
Obviously, the GAP approach in combination with the BAP approach might be a way to address goals of sustainable agriculture and rural development through technical, voluntary, and non-regulatory practices.
Of course, it needs to be validated for application in different settings with respect to production systems, agroecozones, and the roles and requirements of different stakeholders. Pilot projects can be implemented to provide the means of translating and adapting management guidelines for relevance to local conditions.
The success of the GAP and BAP approach lies in its continued engagement of the multiple, relevant stakeholders (producers, consumers, retailers as well as those institutions and services that support GAP through research, education, and extension). Stakeholder dialogues and round-table discussions, conferences and scientific symposia at the regional, national and international level on the full spectrum of BAP or BAP related specific agricultural components can be an important avenue for information sharing, refining indicators and practices, and improving the approach.