AMTEC welcomes ADB, international guests

by: Lawrence Neil E. Sagarino

        Officials of the Agricultural Machinery Testing and Evaluation Center (AMTEC-UPLB), led by Director Arthur L. Fajardo, PhD., hosted guests from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and other countries on October 21, 2023. The visit aimed to explore partnership opportunities on agricultural mechanization that involved benchmarking AMTEC’s operations, facilities, and current programs.

          ADB was represented by Senior Natural Resources Specialist Noriko Sato, the project officer for ADB-financed projects and technical assistance (TA) in the natural resources and agriculture sector in the Central and West Asian region. She was joined by Professor Dr. Iqrar Ahmad Khan, Vice Chancellor of the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) of Pakistan;  Mallesh T M, CEO and founder of CultYvate from India; and Md. Akramul Haque, CEO of Dascoh Foundation from Bangladesh.

         Also in attendance were Md. Rezaul Karim and Dr. Farida Perveen, Director and Deputy Director, respectively, of Planning, Project Implementation & ICT wing of the Department of Agricultural Extension, Ministry of Agriculture of Bangladesh.

         Dr. Fajardo conducted a briefing session with the guests by discussing the roles and mandates of the Center in providing quality services for the benefit of the country’s agricultural and fishery sectors. In addition, he also presented the testing activities performed in the Center’s laboratories and on the field nationwide.

        Moreover, Engr. Marie Jehosa Reyes, Engineer IV and in-charge of AMTEC’s Mechanical Testing Laboratory, facilitated the tour of the testing facility, together with Engr. Jerson Jose T. Menguito and Engr. Deo Jay T. Manglal-lan. The guests also learned about the present setup of the laboratory and all equipment utilized in its operations.

          UPLB’s Vice Chancellor for Planning and Development, Dr. Rossana Marie C. Amongo, also graced the event to discuss possible collaborations between UPLB and UAF, through Prof. Dr. Khan. In particular, Dr. Amongo presented the university’s R&D and graduate studies programs as possible partnership entry points. UAF is the lead academic institution assisted by ADB for the improvement of the agricultural mechanization programs of Pakistan.

          As the premier and reference testing center of agricultural and fisheries machinery, AMTEC remained committed to its public service through collaborations and partnerships with institutions in the country and internationally.