The Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP-CSAM) co-organized a ‘ReCAMA Workshop on Smart and Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization’ on 27th May 2022 in collaboration with German Agricultural Society (DLG), and the Thai Society of Agricultural Engineering (TSAE). The event was held in hybrid mode during the Agritechnica Asia 2022 Expo in Bangkok, Thailand.
The advent of smart technologies, ‘intelligent’ equipment and digitally-enabled solutions is transforming agricultural mechanization and its contribution to sustainable agricultural and rural development. The application of Internet of Things, sensors, locations systems, robotics and artificial intelligence, big data solutions, and mobile applications, among others, can make agricultural machinery more precise and efficient, optimize agricultural and human inputs, and increase the quality and quantity of agricultural products, thus making mechanization a more potent agent for change and for accelerating progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 1 (No Poverty), Goal 2 (Zero Hunger) and Goal 13 (Climate Action), among other Goals.
The Workshop invited established experts from China, Germany, India, Japan, Malaysia, Republic of Korea and Thailand to share their insights and experiences in the area of smart and sustainable agricultural mechanization. The event aimed to promote a better understanding of the potential and opportunities of smart mechanization, exchange good practices and learnings, and facilitate related regional cooperation and synergies among countries and stakeholders in the Asia-Pacific region.
Representing the organizers, Dr. Li Yutong, Head, ESCAP-CSAM; Mr. Jens Kremer, Deputy Managing Director, German Agricultural Society (DLG); and Ms. Dares Kittiyopas, President, Thai Society of Agricultural Engineering (Chair Association of ReCAMA); delivered remarks to welcome the participants.
Dr. C R Mehta, Director, Central Institute of Agricultural Engineering of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, presented an overview of smart agricultural machinery technologies and solutions from the Indian perspective. Dr. Azman Hamzah, Director, Engineering Research Centre of the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute, outlined the policy and institutional support for smart agricultural machinery in Malaysia.
As part of country case presentations, insightful practices and experiences were shared by Prof. Xiwen Luo, Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and Professor, South China Agricultural University; Mr. Alejandro Figueroa, Team Leader of German Chinese Cultivation and Agricultural Engineering Demonstration Park; Mr. Kawase Yoshiyuki, Principal Scientist, Department of Safety Evaluation and Standardization and Coordinator of International Relations, Institute of Agricultural Machinery, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization, Japan; Dr. Jehoon Sung, Director General, Department of Digital Agriculture, Rural Development Administration, Republic of Korea; and Ms. Nantaporn Angsukulthorn, Managing Director, KASET INNO Co., Ltd. of SIAM KUBOTA Corporation Co., Ltd. Both the substantive sessions were moderated by Dr. Thi Tam Dinh, Vice Director General, Vietnam Institute of Agricultural Engineering and Post-Harvest Technology.
The participants also had a chance to view a ‘Digital Show’ on the Agritechnica Asia Expo. More than 100 participants from over 25 countries in the region and beyond including policy makers, researchers, extension managers, private sector representatives, and famers attended the event.
The Workshop was convened under the umbrella of CSAM’s network titled ‘Regional Council of Agricultural Machinery Associations in Asia and the Pacific' (ReCAMA) which seeks to promote sustainable agricultural mechanization in Asia and the Pacific through strengthening the capacity of national agricultural machinery associations, facilitating the exchange of knowledge and information, and enhancing collaboration and closer business connections among national associations and their members. ReCAMA has been cited as a good practice for South-South and Triangular Cooperation by the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation in 2020. The ReCAMA members had highlighted the increasing importance of smart mechanization at the 7th Member Meeting of the network in 2021 and the Workshop was organized in response to their demand.