|DA and local farm equipment fabricators|
BUTUAN CITY - To help local fabricators of farm machinery competitive and at par with other fabricators anywhere in the country, the Department of Agriculture (DA) Caraga conducted a coordination meeting recently and organized them into an association.
Spearheaded by the Regional Agriculture Engineering Division (RAED), around 18 local manufacturers and dealers in the region attended the said meeting.
RAED Chief Engineer Rene Morales said that such meeting with the local fabricators was the first time as DA Caraga recognized local fabricators as potential suppliers of high quality farm machinery.
“Performance of products is the parameter for a company to join public bidding of farm equipment to be supplied to the farmer recipients,” Morales emphasized.
Foremost requirement to join a public bidding, the machine should conform to the standards set by the Philippine Agricultural Engineering Standards (PAES) thus a testing of the machine to know its efficiency is a must.
Such kind of testing is done solely by Agricultural Machinery Testing and Evaluation Center (AMTEC) based at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB).
The PAES is part of the Philippine Standards for Agriculture and Fisheries Machinery developed by the PAES, AMTEC and other DA agencies, which was developed by virtue of DA A.O. No. 11 Series of 2001.
As an initial assistance, DA Caraga consolidated local fabricators who are ready for AMTEC testing to facilitate the presence of AMTEC engineers in Caraga to conduct the test.
“We are grateful that DA is extending assistance for us because it is so expensive if we will have the AMTEC testing individually,” Noel Honorio, one of the local fabricators said.
DA Caraga supported the move to lobby to AMTEC to put up a testing center for Mindanao to be located in one of the universities in Caraga.
To strengthen local manufacturers and dealers, they were organized and voted Pedro Lim of San Francisco, Agusan del Sur as the president.
Assistant Regional Director (ARD) for Operations and LGU Support Edgardo D. Dahino is optimistic that more Caraga-based farm machinery fabricators could supply the needed equipment for the farmers instead of sourcing it outside the region.
DA Caraga annually conducted a public bidding to supply farm equipment mostly pre and post harvest facilities such as tractors, floating tiller, thresher, among others in support to its banner program interventions for corn, rice, high value crops development program, organic, livestock and special projects. (Aurelius Parido Arais/DA Caraga)