We can expect more Filipino farmers to mechanize their operations in the coming years as Korean agricultural machinery manufacturers collaborate with PhilMech to develop appropriate machines and equipment for local agriculture.
The Korean Agricultural Machinery Industry Cooperative (KAMICO) and the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech) recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to join forces in upgrading farm mechanization in the country.
KAMICO counts as its members hundreds of agricultural machinery manufacturers who are willing to share their expertise with their counterpart in the Philippines. The MOU signing was a highlight of the recent KIEMSTA 2016, the biggest agricultural mechanization trade show held in Cheonan City. The signatories are KAMICO chairman Shin Gil Kim and PhilMech executive director Dr. Dionisio Alvindia.
One of the priorities under the MOU is the establishment of an agricultural mechanization complex where the different machines and equipment are showcased. The complex could also become a training center for farm mechanization practitioners.
There will also be collaborative research on machinery development, exchange of experts and provision of technical support, facilitation of study tours, workshops, symposia, training courses and exhibitions on subjects of mutual interest.
The two parties will also encourage the involvement of concerned agencies, the academe, scientific and business communities and non-government organizations of their respective countries to generate broad support to and increased interest in the activities covered by the cooperation.
The private sector will also play an important role in the achievement of the goals of the MOU. One example is the collaboration of Eugene T. Gabriel of Agri Components Corporation of Isabela and the WeCan Global Company of Korea which manufactures rotavators and other farming equipment.
Under a memorandum of agreement between Agricom and WeCan, Gabriel has placed an initial order of 100 units of rotavators that are not fully assembled. Assembly will be done by workers in Isabela and attachments that can be fabricated in the Philippines will also be made in the Philippines with the guidance of PhilMech and Korean experts. One example is the rice field leveler which is attached behind the rotavator.
This particular attachment will eliminate one process in the land preparation for rice. Normally, after plowing and rotavating, a third process is the leveling by means of a carabao-drawn implement. This is now eliminated by the leveler that is attached to the rotavator.
According to Gabriel, the assembling of rotavators in the Philippines will give employment to local workers. At the same time, the selling price of the equipment will be about 20 percent cheaper.
KOREA & PH: Collaborate On Farm Mechanization
Another area of research and development will be the development of village-level machines and equipment. One of the suggestions is the development of a village-level corn mill to process white corn for human consumption. This should be useful to farmers in the Visayas and Mindanao where many people prefer to eat white corn.
In this connection, possible collaboration will be between PhilMech and Lee-Wha Industry headed by Seok Jin Lee. Lee-Wha is the leading manufacturer of compact rice mills in Korea.
More about the agricultural machinery trade show next time.