The 8th Annual Meeting of the Asian and Pacific Network for Testing of Agricultural Machinery (ANTAM) was conducted online on 15 and 16 December 2021, following the informal meetings of ANTAM’s three Technical Working Groups (TWGs) that reviewed proposed amendments to the Codes on Power Tillers, Paddy Transplanters, and Sprayers. ANTAM testing codes draw upon major international standards and are developed by a pool of regional experts. They represent a joint regional effort involving representatives from governments, research and testing institutes, private sector and manufacturers aimed at harmonization of testing standards across participating countries in the region for promoting trade and use of safe, efficient and environment-friendly agricultural machinery. The ANTAM initiative has been recognized among the ‘Good Practices in South-South and Triangular Cooperation for Sustainable Development’ by the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation.
The meeting was organized by the ANTAM secretariat, the Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization (CSAM) of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) from its premises in Beijing. Sixteen ANTAM participating countries’ representatives were connected online.
The first day of the Meeting was dedicated to presentations on international and national perspectives pertaining to the adoption of standards and accreditation processes. Representatives from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretariat’s Standards and Conformance Division; the ASEAN Consultative Committee for Standards and Quality (ACCSQ), as well as national institutions in charge of standardization and accreditation from Bangladesh; Brunei Darussalam; Indonesia; Nepal; Philippines and Thailand attended this special session of the meeting.
The meeting decided to extend for an additional year the term of Malaysia and China as Chair and Vice Chair of the Network, respectively, and endorsed proposals for the establishment of an additional TWGs for Combine Harvesters and Sub-Working Group on Mini-Tillers. Following presentations by the secretariat and by ENAMA, the Italian Association for Agricultural Machinery, as ANTAM Technical Reference Unit, the meeting determined next steps for the accreditation of testing stations. The meeting also reviewed the draft outline of a study to be conducted by CSAM in 2022, focusing on the feasibility of establishing a regional agreement for the mutual recognition of agricultural machinery testing to enhance trade of safe and efficient machinery.