REPORT OF THE SIXTH SESSION OF THE TECHNICAL COMMITTEE OF THE UNITED NATIONS ASIAN AND PACIFIC CENTRE FOR AGRICULTURAL ENGINEERING AND MACHINERY

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1 UNITED NATIONS ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMISSION FOR ASIA AND THE PACIFIC UNITED NATIONS ASIAN AND PACIFIC CENTRE FOR AGRICULTURAL ENGINEERING AND MACHINERY Sixth Session of the Technical Committee of UNAPCAEM 2 December 2010 Putrajaya, Malaysia REPORT OF THE SIXTH SESSION OF THE TECHNICAL COMMITTEE OF THE UNITED NATIONS ASIAN AND PACIFIC CENTRE FOR AGRICULTURAL ENGINEERING AND MACHINERY

2 Executive Summary The 6th session of the Technical Committee (TC) of UNAPCAEM was held in Putrajaya, Malaysia, on 2 December 2010, hosted by the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI) and chaired by Mr. Mohammud Che Husain of MARDI. Participants at the meeting discussed the 2010 work report for UNAPCAEM, its financial status, the work plan for 2011, as well as the outcome of the strategic planning workshop held in preparation for the TC meeting. TC members also discussed the study report on the status of agricultural mechanization, as well as the proposed next steps in the development of a possible Asian and Pacific Network for Testing of Agricultural Machinery (ANTAM). Key proposals from the TC members in the meeting centered on three areas -- communication, focal point appointment and funding -- and potential next steps in the establishment of standards in the context of ANTAM. TC members concluded that UNAPCAEM should establish closer communication with key focal point institutes in the region; that the Center should propose minimum levels for voluntary contributions, with levels adjusted for the economic status of countries; that UNAPCAEM should proceed with further activities towards the eventual establishment of ANTAM; and that letters requesting voluntary contributions should be sent to member countries, in accordance with each country s fiscal year, arriving before the budgetary process for the upcoming year is finalized. 2

3 I. Opening of the Session 1. In his welcoming address, Mr. Ibni Hajar Rukunuddin, Director of the Mechanization and Automation Research Center, MARDI, welcomed the participants to Malaysia and MARDI. 2. In his opening remarks, Mr. LeRoy Hollenbeck, Head, UNAPCAEM, thanked MARDI for the excellent arrangements and help in the organization of the 6th TC meeting. II. Election of Officers 3. The 6th TC of UNAPCAEM elected Mr. Mohammud Che Husain, Deputy Director, MARDI, Malaysia, as Chairperson; Dr. Li Hongwen, Professor, China Agricultural University, China, as Vice-Chair; and Mr. Netra Pal Singh Sirohi, Assistant Director General (Engineering), Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), India, as Rapporteur. III. Attendance 4. The session was attended by representatives of Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Viet Nam. The list of participants is attached as Annex I. IV. Work Report for 2010, Financial Status and Draft Work Plan for Ms. Marit Nilses, Economic Affairs Officer, Trade and Investment Division, ECSAP, explained the new programmatic approach of ESCAP and how the work of UNAPCAEM, including its strategic plan, fits into the work of the subprogramme on Trade and Investment. 6. Ms. Ai Yuxin, Senior Expert of UNAPCAEM, presented the work that had been conducted during 2010 (for the full report, see Annex II), including what had been done in response to the suggestions made at the 5th TC of UNAPCAEM. She informed members that the Center had focused on a participatory approach in the implementation of two key projects -- hybrid rice for six countries in the region 1 ; and post-harvest technologies in rice for Myanmar. 7. In the hybrid rice project, country consultations were undertaken and trainings implemented during 2010 in Fiji, the Philippines and the Democratic People s Republic of Korea. Based on the needs of participating countries, experts have been assigned to agricultural research institutes of participating countries to advise the local trainers on how to adapt the technology to local conditions, monitor the training of local farmers and address their concerns through participatory engagement. Trainings are also planned to be held for Bangladesh, Myanmar and Nepal in Bangladesh, DPRK, Fiji, Myanmar, Nepal and the Philippines 3

4 Finally, a regional seminar will be organized toward the end of 2011 to share the experiences of the project and discuss potential next steps. 8. The second project aims to build capacity in post-harvest technologies and reduce post-harvest losses in rice, which is being piloted in Myanmar. During 2011, this pilot training may be rolled out in other countries with similar needs, funds permitting. 9. In addition to these capacity building projects, UNAPCAEM implemented a number of other initiatives. To conclude the project on CDM, the Center organized an international seminar on CDM application in the agricultural sector, held in Beijing in May The Center also commissioned and oversaw a study on the status of agricultural mechanization in six countries in Asia, which included looking at the feasibility of the proposed Asian and Pacific Network for Testing Agricultural Machinery (ANTAM). 11. Closer collaboration was established between the Centre and other regional institutions of ESCAP, in particular the Center for Alleviation of Poverty through Sustainable Agriculture (CAPSA) and the Asian-Pacific Center for Transfer of Technology (APCTT). 12. The Center was represented and facilitated discussions in a number of meetings / conferences with the aim to increase the visibility of UNAPCAEM. 13. The Center is currently developing several project proposals for consideration by donors, specifically in the area of women entrepreneurship; combating desertification and land degradation through innovative agro-technologies; and agricultural value chains. 14. Finally, to strengthen its programme unit, UNAPCAEM recruited a United Nations Volunteer (UNV) as a research assistant, a second programme officer, as well as several interns. 15. Mr. LeRoy Hollenbeck informed the TC his areas of focus since joining as the Head of UNAPCAEM at the end of April 2010, in particular networking to increase the visibility of the Centre to build the foundation for attracting increased financing. He then informed the TC members of the financial status of the Center. Due to the generous contribution from the Chinese Government to set up the Center, the operation of the Center is secured for another seven years (at current levels of expenditures). This means it will be important to generate increased income through projects and to campaign for additional voluntary contributions to ensure sufficient funds to cover future operational expenses of the Center. 4

5 V. Presentation of progress on ANTAM 16. Ms. Ai Yuxin presented the progress on the potential establishment of ANTAM. She reminded participants that during the 5th TC meeting a brainstorming session was held on a holistic approach towards the establishment of an effective regional mechanism to promote the application of agricultural machinery. 17. A study report on the status of agricultural mechanization in the region had been conducted. The report also looked at the feasibility of ANTAM. 18. The study highlights the following key issues: there is duplication of testing facilities in the region, while in some countries the establishment of testing facilities remains a problem; that the lack of information and knowledge sharing has hampered not only the global distribution of agricultural machinery, but also its improvement to meet the requirements of global standards; and that the lack of regional testing standards that are in compliance with prescribed safety and environmental standards has also created safety and environmental problems. 19. A step by step pathway was proposed for the establishment of an ANTAM. This included: a. Requesting formal expressions of interest from member countries; b. Preparing a comprehensive document of various national standards and agricultural machinery testing codes currently existing and practiced; c. Bringing governments to an agreement for recognizing each other s national standards/test codes (mutual recognition); d. Preparing a matrix of test centers versus test facilities and their capabilities through a detailed survey of existing test centers; e. Evaluating test centers for consistency and credibility f. Authorizing evaluated test centers to use ANTAM certified logo with region-wide acceptability; g. Formulating and popularizing region-wide standards and test codes to enhance uniformity in testing of agricultural machinery and its performance; h. Implementing regional capacity building and expert exchange to help building / updating / upgrading test facilities of popular agricultural machinery in other countries in the region; and i. Implementing voluntary / enforced standards into agricultural machinery trade and corroborate these with other regional / international testing networks. 20. The study report suggested that UNAPCAEM may take up the following first steps toward the implementation of ANTAM: a. Convening meetings among member countries to discuss the necessity, feasibility and required conditions for establishing an ANTAM; b. Outlining a comprehensive plan for the development of the ANTAM, with detailed related actions; and c. Organizing an ANTAM preparatory group, including identifying focal points. 5

6 VI. Comments from TC members 21. Mr. Sirohi of India commented on the lack of communication between UNAPCAEM and the TC members during the years. He suggested that key institutions be designated, with a clear designation of primary focal point and secondary focal points, and that all communication be channeled through these focal points. He also welcomed the study of agro-machinery development in 6 countries. He suggested that the content (facts and figures) be authenticated by the key institutes of the respective countries. He also suggested that the other key institutes who were not covered in the report be invited to provide similar information for their countries, to be included as an annex to the study report. 22. Mr. Ou Yinggang of China informed the TC members of some of the challenges they had encountered as one of the two co-authors of the study report on the status of agricultural mechanization. 23. Mr. Ou also conveyed the views of Mr. Wang Maohua, a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE), a TC member of UNAPCAEM and currently a GC member since It was proposed that the focal point of activities of the Centre be focused on providing modern engineering services for sustainable rural agricultural development. The Centre should liaise closely with regional institutes involved with agricultural machinery, agro-engineering equipment manufacturing and service industries, agricultural mechanization management departments, scientific research institutions, agricultural extension services and education and manpower training facilities related to agro-biological systems. In China these are the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Mechanization Sciences (CAAMS); Chinese Society of Agricultural Engineering (CSAE); Chinese Society for Agricultural Machinery (ASAM); Chinese Association of Agricultural Machinery Manufacturers (CAAMM); Chinese Association of Agricultural Mechanization (CAAM); as well as national agricultural mechanization-related management departments at selected higher learning institutes. 24. It was also proposed that UNAPCAEM should consider adding a component on agricultural machinery to its hybrid rice project, since it is a slightly different process to that for normal rice (e.g., the rice transplanter needs is different since the amount of seeds planted is smaller). 25. Mr. Hollenbeck thanked Mr. Sirohi and Mr. Ou for their very important comments. He stated that he is in favour of designating UNAPCAEM focal points in person, as it would improve the possibilities for communication. He proposed to send the individual chapters of the agricultural mechanization study to each country for their review within the coming week, after which the report would be finalized. As relates to the countries not covered by the study, he invited those with an interest to have their status included to provide a write-up, which could be included as an annex to the report. 26. Secondly, Mr. Hollenbeck welcomed the proposals of CAE and will discuss with the ESCAP headquarters how to consult the Chinese counterpart on the focal point issue. 6

7 He also informed that he would be very keen to attend the meetings of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Mechanization Sciences (CAAMS) and other relevant institutions as proposed by CAE, and would welcome invitations to do so. 27. Mr. Giyoung Kim of Korea suggested that a request for official nomination of focal point institutes be sent through formal diplomatic channels. Mr. Mohammud Che Husain of Malaysia asked what the current practice is in nominating UNAPCAEM focal points. Mr. Agung Hendriadi proposed that focal point responsibility remain with the permanent focal point institution, as the person may move. Mr. Hollenbeck suggested that the focal point remains the institution, but that within each institution a dedicated person is nominated through whom regular contacts can be channeled. 28. Mr. Sirohi proposed to consider including NGOs on the TC of UNAPCAEM. Mr. Hollenbeck responded positively to the suggestion, proposing that TC membership also should be complementary in terms of different areas of expertise of the different TC members. 29. Mr. Hendriadi suggested considering how to increase the voluntary contributions, to make them more balanced and how to promote UNAPCAEM with the expertise of the member countries. As regards project proposals, he suggested TC members need to respond to project ideas. 30. Mr. Bandara of Sri Lanka proposed that the voluntary contributions be linked to a country s particular situation, but that perhaps a minimum level of contribution be proposed. He also proposed that the requests be sent to the Ministries of Finance, with copy to the TC members. 31. Mr. Limsong Srun of Cambodia informed that in many organizations yearly contributions depend on the GDP of the countries. In the case of Cambodia, he will propose to the Cambodian ESCAP office to contribute to UNAPCAEM, starting from He added that UNAPCAEM should send a letter to all member countries asking for contributions for the coming year, and that the letter should be sent in the middle of the year so as to arrive before the budget has been finalized. If possible, the list of previous contributions should be attached for reference. Further discussion suggested that UNAPCAEM obtain from member countries information on when their respective fiscal years begin and end so that the letter can be timed accordingly; not all countries have the same fiscal year. 32. Mr. Arnold R. Elepano suggested that the progress report of UNACPAEM be included with the request for funding. He also said that UNAPCAEM must generate income through projects, and that the country focal points need to know what has been done for their country. 33. Mr. Hendriadi suggested that the letter requesting contributions include information on what the countries have received from UNAPCAEM. Mr. Husain supported that focal points need to be able to provide their institutions with information on what benefits they receive from contributing to the Center. 7

8 34. Mr. Sirohi supported proposals to revisit the rationale for the contributions. UNAPCAEM may propose to member countries to enhance their contributions. 35. Mr. Sirohi proposed to discuss the modalities for establishing ANTAM. He suggested that the Center kick off the ANTAM process by conducting practical activities in collaboration with member countries in the following years. India, Indonesia and Iran expressed a strong interest in being partners in the development of ANTAM. Mr. Hollenbeck suggested that all countries with a clear interest in proceeding with ANTAM contact Ms. Ai Yuxin to let her know of their interest. Mr. Bandara mentioned that the establishment of ANTAM will help agricultural producers. In light of this, he advised that if a good project proposal is developed, it can be presented to the private sector for funding. 36. Mr. Husain asked TC members if they are happy with the activities undertaken by UNAPCAEM during 2010, in light of the proposals ideas suggested during the 5th TC meeting. If not, he suggested that they should propose areas in which they would like to see more activities or would need assistance. VII. Discussion of UNAPCAEM draft strategic plan (Annex III) 37. Mr. Amitava Mukherjee presented the key components of the draft strategic 5-year plan for UNAPCAEM developed during the strategic planning workshop on November The strategic plan will be further edited and distributed to TC members during December. Following this, it will be presented for adoption at the 6th meeting of the Governing Council of UNAPCAEM, scheduled to be held on 18 January 2011 in Bangkok, Thailand. 38. The TC reviewed the vision, mission, goal and key results areas, as well as the work plan developed during the strategic planning workshop. Revisions and adjustments of these were done, to ensure they more accurately reflect the intended purpose and goal of the center. VIII. Date and Venue of the Sixth Session of Technical Committee 39. The 7th session of the UNAPCAEM TC was proposed for November Indonesia offered to co-organize and host the meeting, to be held in Bali, Indonesia. IX. Adoption of the Report 40. The report of the 6th TC was adopted on 2 December 2010 in Putrajaya, Malaysia. ******************* 8

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