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Publications > Agricultural Mechanization and Testing of Agricultural Machinery in the Asia-Pacific Region

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Acknowledgments
This report is published under the overall guidance of ZHAO Bing, Head of the
Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization (CSAM) of the United Nations
Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP). It was
prepared by a core team led by AI Yuxin, Senior Expert of CSAM, who authored
the Editorial and edited the publication. Main contributors to the substantive
chapters are Dr. Gajendra Singh, Dr. Chan Chee Wan and Ms. HAN Xue
respectively, consultants contracted by CSAM. The report also benefited from
the presentations made by participants at meetings organized by CSAM.
Special thanks go to Ms. Camilla Stelitano, Programme Specialist, who did the
initial editing of the case study, and Mr. WEI Zhen, IT Specialist, who provided
the layout design.

Editorial

Agriculture remains the backbone of national economy in most developing countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Agriculture is not only the producer of food and but also employer of approximately 60% of the working population in this region, according to ESCAPí»s survey in 2013. However, achieving and ensuring sustained food security in the region remains a challenge. In recent years, countries across the region start embracing agricultural mechanization to increase labor and land productivity in order to meet the growing demand for food. Sustainable agricultural mechanization plays an increasingly important role in improving efficiency in the agricultural systems, filling the rural labour gaps and enhancing farmersí» income through rural business/enterprise development.

At present, there is a varying level of agricultural mechanization across the region. Most developing countries in the region lack appropriate technologies, knowledge, infrastructure and qualified human resources to promote farm mechanization. Inadequate government support, underinvestment in R&D, absence of holistic approach and coherent institutional framework are also contributing factors.

At the same time, increased demand for agricultural mechanization results in booming trade of agricultural machinery in the region. According to the World Bank estimate in 2010, over the past two decades, the Asia-Pacific region has emerged as the largest market in the world in terms of sales of agricultural machinery, implements and equipment. In 2015, it is projected to have sales of US$ 49 billion as compared to US$ 27 billion in North America and US$ 20.5 billion in Western Europe.

In the mechanization process, standard testing to ensure safety, technical reliability and environmental sustainability of agricultural machinery is crucial. The on-going efforts made by governments to address the mechanization needs of farmers necessitate a region-wide mechanism to standardize and harmonize testing codes of agricultural machinery for the benefits of farmers, food production, environment and cross-border trade. The Asian and Pacific Network for Testing of Agricultural Machinery (ANTAM) initiated by CSAM is aimed to promote sustainable agriculture through region-wide standard-setting to address safety, efficiency and environmental aspects of agricultural mechanization in the region.

The newly adopted UN sustainable development goals (SDGs) call for food security through sustainable agriculture. Sustainable agricultural mechanization and testing are integral parts of sustainable agriculture.




 

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