Philippine-Sino Center for Agricultural Technology took part in the 5th Makina Expo –a Department of Agriculture’s (DA’s) flagship program in the promotion of farm mechanization in the Philippines, held at International Convention Center, Iloilo City last September 7-9 2017.
Resounding the catchphrase “Aangat ang Pagsasaka, sa Paggamit ng Tamang Makina,” the chairperson of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, senator Cynthia A. Villar, DA secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol, and Sweden ambassador to the Philippines Harald Fries, governor Arthur Defensor Sr., Davao del Sur representative Mercedes Cagas, and Negros Occidental 2nd district representative Leo Rafael Cueva graced the exposition.
The Makina Expo is an approach to enhance awareness on the effectiveness of using modern agricultural machineries and update the farmers on the latest mechanization technologies in the Philippines and in other countries.
Defensor, welcomed all the delegates to the three-day Makina Expo 2017 organized by the department of agriculture together with Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Engineering (BAFE), DA-RFO 6, Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PHilMech) and other attached agencies under DA. He acknowledged the importance of farm machineries in improving agricultural production.
Senator Villar discussed the studies why farmers in the Philippines are not yet competitive and not earning enough, in her message. “The factors that affect the competitiveness of Filipino farmers given that we are extremely hardworking are the lack of technical expertise, inadequate access to socialized credit, lack of mechanization and financial literacy,” she said.
Moreover, the chairperson stressed out that most farmers in the Philippines are operating their farms short of business, thus she encouraged everyone to be a businessman.
She stressed, “You are not only farmers, you are small businessmen and your farms are your small businesses. As such, you should treat your farm as a business because it’s the only way you will earn.”
In her final statement, Senator Villar said, “Ang pangarap po namin ni secretary Piñol ay ang mga magsasaka at mangingisdang mayayaman!”
Meanwhile, the secretary of the Department of Agriculture discussed the three major components on how to help and improve agriculture subsequently the lives of the farmers.
Secretary said, “These are things we can do to ensure that agriculture will be easier for us. Three things, one, technology, two, financing and three marketing”.
Villar and Piñol also discussed the importance of repair and maintenance of small farm engines which PhilSCAT, PHilMech, Super Trade Global Machinery, Inc., Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (TESDA) and other DA Regional Offices jointly implemented the training course in the repair and maintenance of agricultural small engines back in 2014 until this year.
To date, the said training course already produced 226 individual mechanic or “Magsasakang Mekaniko” from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao whereas they are capacitated to perform on the spot engine repair services to nearby farms and rural areas.
This program will then ensure the sustainability of the mechanization program of the government while providing better opportunity for rural labor that may be displaced by mechanization.
In this exposition, PhilSCAT featured the advantages and benefits of proper solid waste management through the use of biogas technology and biogas digester demonstrated and modified at the center to serve the livestock sectors in the country and raise their aware in the advent of this timely technology.
In addition, technical experts from the PHilMech presented the developments in local riding type rice transplanter, multi-purpose seeder, rice hull gasifier, engine pump system, multi-rows onion seeder, cassava digger, and grain probe moisture meter.
Meanwhile, field demonstration of tractor, transplanter, rice combine harvester, solar and pressurized irrigation system, proper repair and maintenance of small agricultural engines were conducted at Western Visayas Integrated Agricultural Research Center (WESVIARC) in Hamungaya, Jaro.
Naga Mangutaro Kalo from Lanao Del Sur, Marawi City said, “This is the best exposition I’ve ever seen; gathered all the machineries, equipment and technologies together in one place. We (with my 32 farmers’ delegates) have found various kinds of great machinery that we need in our area to rapidly increase our yield and income as well.”
The event was attended by 2,715 farmers from different regions with 86 exhibitors joined and showcased their latest and available agri-mechanization and irrigation machinery and equipment for crops, livestock and fishery. RRCarbonel