AMTEC welcomes ADB, international guests

by: Lawrence Neil E. Sagarino

 Dr. Arthur Fajardo and Engr. Marie Jehosa Reyes, AMTEC’s Director and Engineer IV respectively, participated in the 10th Annual Meeting of the Asian and Pacific Network for Testing of Agricultural Machinery (ANTAM) on December 6-8, 2023, in Jeonju and Iksan, Republic of Korea. 

The yearly regional meeting is organized by the Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization (CSAM) of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) as ANTAM secretariat. The Korean Rural Development Administration (RDA) and the Korea Agriculture Technology Promotion Agency (KOAT) have also co-led the said meeting. 

During the three-day event, ANTAM unanimously adopted new codes on Combine Harvesters (004-2023) and Mini Tillers (001a-2023). An update on the Quality Manual for the management of testing stations was also agreed upon by the 18 participating countries who attended the meeting, both in-person and online. The network has also welcomed Uzbekistan as its twentieth official member. Further, the nomination of the National Designated Authority (NDAs) was discussed.

Engr. Reyes and Engr. Mark Twain Limbo of SRED, BAFE, co-chaired the Technical Working Group for Power Tillers and Mini Tillers. Meanwhile, Dr. Fajardo represented the Philippines as the national focal point at the said regional meeting. 

The participants have also toured to an exhibition of Korea’s locally manufactured agricultural machinery, including automated models, and a tractor factory assembly line. On the other hand, they participated in practical testing demonstrations for automated tractors and witnessed the performance of some test items of the OECD Tractor Codes at the KOAT facilities in Iksan.

AMTEC maintains its involvement in various international collaborations, such as ANTAM, to constantly improve and strengthen its operations. The Center remained committed to providing globally competitive and quality testing and evaluation services, by benchmarking and sharing its expertise among its international partners. 

The next ANTAM meeting will be held in the last quarter of 2024 in Nepal. Furthermore, the Technical Working Group on Combine Harvesters is set to convene again, tentatively, in early 2024 in Thailand.