New farm machines that can tremendously boost farm mechanization in the Philippines were showcased in a field demonstration during the 39th anniversary celebration of PhilMech, the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization in the Science City of Muñoz in Nueva Ecija.
The event was also highlighted by the signing of a new memorandum of agreement between PhilMech and the Kamico or Korea Agricultural Machinery Industry Cooperative headed by its chairman Shin Gil Kim who graced the event together with Korea’s No.1 rice and corn mill developer Seok Jin Lee and Kamico representative in the Philippines, Philip Kim.
The MOA stipulates the cooperation of Kamico and PhilMech in promoting farm mechanization in the Philippines through the collaborative development of improved farm machinery and technology. Initial targets of collaboration are the development of a compact corn mill, vegetable washer, rice mill and dryer of grains and other crops.
The vegetable washer is very important to improve the quality and marketability of root vegetables like carrots, radish, potato, sweet potato and even other non-vegetable root crops like cassava, ubi, tugui, peanut and others.Meanwhile, farmers, government agriculturists and other agribusiness stakeholders witnessed the demonstration of farm machines that can increase productivity in local farms. One new introduction is the machine for direct seeding rice. In one pass, eight rows are seeded. The rows are straight and the distances of the hills are uniform. This will make it possible to employ mechanical weeders if it is necessary. The direct seeder can also reduce the seeds to plant one hectare because direct seeding by manual broadcasting is very wasteful. The 8-row direct seeder can plant at least three hectares in one day, it could be more.
Dryers are also important not only in drying rice and corn. They are also useful in drying high-quality farm products like fruits and vegetables, marine products and others.Another useful farm machine that was demonstrated during the PhilMech anniversary is the rice transplanter. There is a ride-one transplanter which makes use of a tractor where the operator is riding the machine. Being studied is an efficient transplanter that could make use of a hand tractor that can be used in small paddies. This could be highly useful in many Philippine farms which are very small.
Other machines that were demonstrated in the field were a tractor with plow for deep plowing, rotavator, field leveler, hay rake and baler machine. A machine for making levees was also demonstrated. Another was a bed forming machine for vegetables and other high-value crops.
The Bio-Process Engineering Research Laboratory was also inaugurated, unveiled by Francisco M. Villano, Jr., Engr. Ariel T. Cayanan, DA-Usec for Operations and Agri-Fisheries Mechanization, and PhilMech Director Dionisio G. Alvindia.
Seminars on land preparation technologies, seedling preparation and transplanting and crop management were also held, attended by farmers and other agricultural stakeholders.A new onion direct seeder was also launched but that will be the subject of another article.