Testing engineers from Member States of ESCAP, i.e. Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, France, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Sri Lanka and Thailand drafted standard codes and procedures for power tillers and misters/cum dusters across Asia at the 1st meeting of the Technical Working Group (TWG) of the Asian and Pacific Network for Testing of Agricultural Machinery (ANTAM) on 4-7 May in Serpong, Indonesia, with the support of the Indonesian Centre for Agricultural Engineering. Power tillers and misters/cum dusters are most commonly used agricultural machinery by millions of farmers across Asia, and their safety and efficiency have a direct bearing not only on the wellbeing of farmers, but also on the safety of food production and the environment.
Intensive technical negotiations at the 1st TWG focused on harmonizing existing testing codes that are compatible with the local conditions in Asian countries, while enhancing safety and environmental standards of agricultural machinery. The draft codes were developed by drawing upon relevant standards adopted by international organizations such as ISO, OECD and FAO, as well as codes from Asian countries. Experts stressed the important role of ANTAM in promoting sustainable agricultural production and facilitating intra-regional trade by reducing transaction cost and enhancing transparency of trade. Moreover, ANTAM codes will offer a guarantee of safety and quality to farmers by increasing their access to safe and efficient machinery.
After test runs in selected laboratories in the region using the testing codes drafted, both the codes and testing reports will be submitted for review and adoption at the 2nd Annual Meeting of ANTAM scheduled to take place in December in New Delhi, India.
The codes drafted will also be referred to at an upcoming ANTAM Regional Training of Trainers Programme, to be held in Nanjing, China, from June 23rd to 27th, in collaboration with the China Agricultural Machinery Testing Centre (CAMTC).
ANTAM, launched by CSAM in November 2013, is aimed to promote the manufacture, use of and trade in safe, efficient and environmentally friendly agricultural machinery through harmonizing testing codes among participating countries for sustainable agricultural production. Sixteen Member States and region of ESCAP have designated national focal points for ANTAM. FAO, OECD, UNIDO and the European Network for Testing of Agricultural Machinery (ENTAM) represented by the Italian Agency for Agricultural Mechanization (ENAMA) have joined CSAM in the Advisory Panel of ANTAM.