“Human resource development lies at the heart of economic, social and environmental development. A skilled, educated, healthy, capable, productive and flexible workforce, equipped with knowledge of newly emerging areas, is the foundation for countries to achieve sustainable economic growth and social progress.”
This is reiterated by the Senator and Chairperson - Cynthia Villar of the Committee on Agriculture and Food Senate of the Philippines at the Opening Ceremony of the 3rd Regional Forum on Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization in Asia and the Pacific - “Human resource development is an integral part of sustainable agricultural mechanization. We need to invest on people, for they will be on top of all our mechanization programs and projects.”
On 9-11 December, 2015, around 400 key stakeholders of the Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization (CSAM) gathered in Manila, the Philippines, to share information and exchange ideas on “Human Resource Development for Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization at the 3rd Regional Forum on Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization in Asia and the Pacific. The participants cover governmental officials, researcher and academics, and representatives from international and regional organization, NGOs, associations, and private sectors from 16 countries in Asia and the Pacific, namely, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, ROK, Russia Federation, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Regional Forum on Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization is an annual strategic initiative of CSAM for high-level policy dialogues and regional cooperation in the field of agricultural mechanization in the region. The 3rd Regional Forum was organized by this Centre in collaboration with the Board of Agricultural Engineering of the Professional Regulation Commission, College of Engineering and Agro-Industrial Technology, University of the Philippines-Los Banos, Agricultural and Fisheries Mechanization Committee of the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries, and the Philippine Society of Agricultural Engineer.
Benigno S. Aquino III – the President of the Philippines sent his written remarks emphasizing that agricultural mechanization and engineering “is vital to supporting our region and empowering our populate to be active contributors to inclusive growth.”, and wished a productive and insightful gathering of the events.
The participants of the 3rd Regional Forum agreed at the Forum that a regional mechanism shall be established by CSAM to facilitate cooperation between and among different stakeholders in the field of human resource development of agricultural mechanization. This will be followed up and materialized in the coming months.
Meanwhile, a small machinery demonstration was conducted as a side event at the venue of the 3rd Regional Forum; and field trip was arranged visiting the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), Philippine Sino-Centre for Agricultural Technology (PhilSCAT), and Philippine Centre for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech).