Participants from different regions pose for a photo op after the consultation (Photo courtesy of PDCD)

To further improve the competency of land and labor force through farm mechanization in the Philippines, PCAF recently spearheaded the National Consultation on the Draft Agricultural and Fisheries Mechanization Program (NAFMP).

Representatives from concerned Department of Agriculture (DA) offices, bureaus and attached agencies, government agencies, state universities and colleges, and private sectors gathered on November 16, 2016 at Clark, Pampanga to validate and update the contents of the final draft of the NAFMP.

As a prelude activity for the national consultation, DA – Regional Field Office (RFO) 7 spearheaded a pilot consultation on the Draft Regional Agricultural and Fisheries Mechanization Program (RAFMP) in Cebu City on September 28-29, 2015.

Following the said pilot consultation, PCAF, in collaboration with the DA RFOs 6 and 11 conducted the Visayas and Mindanao-wide consultations in October and November 2015, respectively, while the Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Engineering (BAFE) undertook Luzon-wide consultations in December 2015.

The consultations on the draft NAFMP are in accordance with Section 5, Rule 5.5 of the Agriculture and Fisheries Mechanization (AFMech) Law which states that the AFMech Committee (AFMeC) shall conduct planning workshops at the municipal, city, provincial, regional and national level prior to its submission to the DA Secretary for approval.

The NAFMP is a 5-year mechanization program which was formulated pursuant to Section 5 Rule 5.1 of the AFMech Law. AFMech Law was signed by the former President Benigno Simeon Aquino on June 5, 2013 that aims to promote agricultural and fisheries mechanization development in the country.

To improve and finalize the draft NAFMP, PCAF invited resource persons to discuss the five major components of the NAFMP. These components include the Local Assembling and Manufacture of Agri-fishery Machinery; Research, Development and Extension; Standards and Regulations; Support services and Institutional Development; and Human Resource Development.

The NAFMP will be endorsed to the Agriculture Secretary for approval.