The Seventh Session of the UNAPCAEM Technical Committee (TC) was held on 27-28 October 2011 in Bali, Indonesia, hosted by the Indonesian Center for Agricultural Engineering Research and Development (IAARD). Fourteen TC members representing ten ESCAP member States, as well as one participant from the European Network for Testing of Agriculture Machines and three from ESCAP, utilized the two days to view a presentation of UNAPCAEM on its current financial status and work report of 2011 and work plan for 2012. Participant discussions also focused on priority areas that an ANTAM (Asian and Pacific Network for Testing Agricultural Machinery), once established, will focus on, specifically the identification of priority technologies for testing. There was universal agreement that the Asia-Pacific region should enhance intra-regional cooperation to upgrade member countries¡¯ capacity in human resources, research and development of testing agricultural technology.
In this regard, the lack of a common strategy on quality and safety should stimulate the design of common agricultural machinery standards for the Asia-Pacific region to facilitate the growth of agricultural development and trade in agro-technology. As the establishment of ANTAM will be a step forward on this purpose, participants agreed to prepare a ¡°research report¡± detailing ANTAM priority areas.
Indonesian TC member, Dr. Astu Unadi, opened the Seventh Session by reading a statement from the IAARD Executive Secretary, Dr. Mappaona, who stressed, "Agricultural mechanization plays an important role in improving productivity, reducing loss and production costs and it should be addressed to protect farmer¡¯s wellbeing.¡±
Mr. Hollenbeck, Senior Economic Affairs Officer and Head of UNAPCAEM, presented UNAPAEM¡¯s work program of 2011 and the work plan for 2012. Highlights included the process to develop ANTAM, and the Centre¡¯s focus on post-harvest technologies, anti-desertification and land degradation and rural alternative energy.
In addition, the Centre, in collaboration with FAO-RAP, will conduct a Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization Strategy Roundtable on December 2011, which will determine what further actions will be taken in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Seventh TC meeting was joined by representatives from Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Russian Federation, Sri Lanka and Viet Nam, as well as the Director General of ENAMA (the Italian Agricultural Mechanization Body and member of the European Network for Testing of Agricultural Machines, ENTAM).