STORIES

PHilMech celebrates 44 years of transforming the future of agriculture

The Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization marks its 44th Anniversary coinciding with the observation of the 23rd Postharvest Loss Prevention Week with the theme: "Leveling up Agriculture Thru Mechanization 4 our Farmers, 4 our Future.”

This year's celebration boasts of the highlights of what the agency have done so far in empowering the stakeholders, in improving their lives and in transforming the future of Philippine agriculture.

In the state of PHilMech address, Director IV/Scientist IV Dionisio G. Alvindia enumerated the projects and programs that the agency has accomplished for 44 years that remarkably increased the efficiency and productivity of the farmers.

Dr. Alvindia also shared the vision of the RCEF mechanization program for the next years. He said, "We hope to see farmers not just selling fresh but dried and processed palay for a more competitive income; farmers availing of the Rice Processing System within the 57 rice-producing provinces; empowered model FCAs reaching out to other budding farmer groups in terms of mechanization; youth engaging in agriculture through various mechanization-related networks under the Youth for Mechanization Campaign; and FCAs becoming the key players in achieving the country's food sufficiency.”

The event also highlighted the Groundbreaking Ceremony of the Agricultural Machinery Design and Prototyping Center (AMDPC).

The center is part of the Department of Agriculture and Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) project on "Enhancing Local Capability to Design, Develop, and Manufacture Agricultural Machinery to Accelerate Mechanization of Philippine Agriculture.”

KOICA Country Director Kim Eun Sub is optimistic on its implementation through the partnership with PHilMech and other partner agencies.

"We hope to contribute to the betterment of Philippine agriculture especially on farm mechanization. It is not only beneficial for Philippines but also for Korea because we learn from project partners. We also aim for farmers to have better access to quality and more affordable agricultural machinery which are locally manufactured," said Dir. Kim.

Together with Dir. Kim are Embassy of the Republic of Korea to the Philippines’ Third Secretary, Lee Ga Hye and Country Representative of KAMICO, Philip Kim.

Another highlighted activity under the RCEF mechanization program is the launching of the Youth for Mechanization campaign.

Dr. Alvindia stressed the need to entice the youth in agriculture as they are the future that will continue feeding the nation.

In a video message, Department of Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar encouraged the whole agency to explore more and continue to improve the services and magnify the impact of its efforts on the stakeholders.

"On behalf of the whole DA, I convey my utmost appreciation to PHilMech for the exemplary service as the DA's arm in curbing postharvest losses and in mechanizing farm practices and operations in order to transform the future of Philippine agriculture," Sec. Dar said.

Senator Cynthia A. Villar, chair of the senate committee on food and agriculture, also expressed her appreciation to the agency for its persistent efforts in the implementation of RCEF mechanization program in the past three years.

"Let us remain motivated in providing our rice farmers the long-awaited scales and technology upgrade not just to reduce the postharvest losses and increase their income but to make our rice industry globally competitive," said Senator Villar.

In the latter part of the industry day, PHilMech recognized its employees with exemplary performance contributing to the agency’s fulfilment of its mandate in terms of Research and Development, Training and Extension, and Support Services (see separate article). Nine employees were awarded as Natatanging Kawani for 2021 in their respective categories.

A Techno-talakayan on agricultural mechanization and postharvest technologies was also held in the afternoon with 37 farmers (31 male and 6 female) in attendance.
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