With the presence of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Kyungpook National University (KNU) of the Republic of Korea signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Agriculture and Fishery Development Cooperation last Monday, April 24.
The MOU, signed by DA Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban, DA-Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) Director Joel Lales, and KNU Daegu Gyeongbuk International Development Cooperation Center Director Hwa Seok Hwang, aims to promote the exchange of scientific and technical resources related to agriculture and rural development.
President Marcos also inspected locally developed technologies and machineries including those in collaboration between DA-Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PHilMech) and the Korea Agricultural Machinery Industry Cooperative (KAMICO) during his recent visit and distribution of agricultural assistance in Nueva Ecija.
Among the PHilMech-KAMICO collaborative projects presented to the President were the corn mill project, lifter machine and onion mechanization system.
The exhibit also showed advance Korean innovations including truck-mounted and wall sprayer for African swine fever (ASF) and Avian Influenza (AI) biosecurity, cultivator with various implements, and drone sprayer with seed spreader.
In his speech, President Marcos shared that there are now many local manufacturers of farm machines as he stressed the need to strengthen and expand the local agri-fishery manufacturing industry, so the sector would not rely on imported machineries and equipment.
The President also expressed support for the growing industry that will help boost the country’s food sufficiency levels.
In behalf of KAMICO, the chief executive officers (CEOs) of major Korean manufacturing companies such as Bulls, LEEHWA and Sungboo attended the event together with KAMICO PH Country Representative Philip Kim.
The KOICA Country Director Eunsub Kim also graced the occasion as the President had a glimpse of the ongoing construction of the USD5.78-million worth Agricultural Machinery Design and Prototyping Center (AMPDC) at the PHilMech Compound.
The center is expected to accelerate mechanization of the agricultural sector through enhancing local technological capacity to design, develop, and manufacture agricultural machineries.
Through the DA-KNU MOU, cooperative activities applying the principles of clustering and consolidation and professionalization of human resources and clientele will also be conducted.
The activities will include organization of professional education and staff development programs, through training courses, symposia, and conferences trainings on digital or smart agriculture, data science for agriculture, and advanced agricultural technology, among others.
The MOU also includes staff development programs and continuous support to Filipino scholars for the KOICA-funded Master’s degree implemented by KNU.### (Gumamela Celes Bejarin, DA-AFID)