Under a steady partnership between the Philippines and Korea, the Mech Now Davao 2023 formally opened at the Southern Mindanao Integrated Agricultural Laboratory of the Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) in Manambulan, Davao City on September 6.
With the theme, “Farms of Tomorrow: Advancing Agriculture through Technology,” the two-day event promoted agricultural mechanization and advancement in the Philippines through collaborations between the Department of Agriculture – Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech) and the Korean government’s Korean Agricultural Machinery Industry Cooperative (KAMICO).
Various agricultural machineries were featured and presented to local farmers, farmers’ cooperatives and associations (FCAs), government officials, and other sectoral stakeholders during the event.
DA Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban shared that agricultural mechanization—as one of the Philippine government’s national priorities—is of utmost importance, most especially in Mindanao “where mechanization promises gains far larger than the public investments it requires.”
With around 1,800 units of heavy tractors, forklifts, combine harvesters, chainsaws, mechanized tillers, irrigation pumps, millers, and mechanical dryers distributed among Mindanao-based farmers and FCAs in 2022, the DA further complemented this by providing additional interventions, namely: the distribution of high-yielding seeds, fertilizers, farm equipment, fish fingerlings, and fishing boats; the construction and repair of at least 49 irrigation systems and the completion of 75 farm-to-road projects; the establishment of more than 220 units of support infrastructure such as warehouses, processing centers, storage sheds, animal enclosures, greenhouses, and nurseries; and the provision of P79 million worth of fertilizer subsidies to 10,000 farmers in Mindanao in the previous year.
Panganiban reported that these initiatives enhanced the palay, corn, poultry, and fisheries production in Davao Region alone by 6.4 percent, 3.4 percent, 23.1 percent, and 26 percent, respectively, comparing the first half of 2022 and of 2023.
Nationwide agricultural production also increased in the same period as evident by the boost in palay, corn, chicken, and swine production—the latter recording a 3.08 percent growth despite the devastating impacts of the African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak.
“The persevering spirit of the people of Davao and the modern farm technologies on exhibit on these grounds today offer a small glimpse of how far Mindanao can stretch toward our national objectives,” Senior Usec. Panganiban expressed. ### (Krystelle Ymari A. Vergara, DA-AFID)