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Publications > 3rd Regional Forum on Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization in Asia and the Pacific
- Human Resource Development for Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization

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9-11 December 2015
Manila, the Philippines

Acknowledgement
This synthesis report comprises of the proceedings of the 3rd Regional Forum on Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization in Asia and the Pacific, held on 9-11 December 2015 in Manila, the Philippines. It has been prepared by a team at the Centre of Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization (CSAM) under the overall guidance of Zhao Bing, former Head of CSAM, Katinka Weinberger,
former Officer in Charge of CSAM, Li Yutong, Head of CSAM. The original presentations and speeches were provided by the respective participants/speakers.

Special thanks go to Cathy Lambuson, Camilla Stelitano, Zorikto Gomboin, and Feng Yuee for summarizing, compiling, and proofreading the country reports. CSAM is also grateful to Huajie Sun for lay-out and design of the report.

Executive Summary

ˇ°Human resource development lies at the heart of economic, social and environmental development. A skilled, educated, healthy, capable, productive and flexible workforce, equipped with knowledge of newly emerging areas, is the foundation for countries to achieve sustainable economic growth and social progress.ˇ± as highlighted by Mr. Zhao Bing, Head of CSAM.

On 9-11 December, 2015, around 400 key stakeholders of the Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization (CSAM) gathered in Manila, the Philippines, to share information and exchange ideas on ˇ°Human Resource Development for Sustainable Agricultural Mechanizationˇ± at the 3rd Regional Forum on Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization in Asia and the Pacific. The participants covered government officials, researchers and academics, and representatives from international and regional organizations, NGOs, associations, and private sector from 16 countries in Asia and the Pacific, namely, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Republic of Korea (ROK), Russian Federation, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The Regional Forum on Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization is an annual strategic initiative of CSAM for high-level policy dialogue and regional cooperation in the field of agricultural mechanization in the region. The 3rd Regional Forum was organized by CSAM in collaboration with the Board of Agricultural Engineering of the Professional Regulation Commission, College of Engineering and Agro-Industrial Technology, University of the Philippines-Los Banos, Agricultural and Fisheries Mechanization Committee of the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries, and the Philippine Society of Agricultural Engineers.

His Excellency Benigno S. Aquino III ¨C President of the Philippines, sent his written remarks emphasizing that agricultural mechanization and engineering ˇ°is vital to supporting our region and empowering our people to be active contributors to inclusive growth.ˇ±, and wished a productive and insightful gathering at the event. Cynthia Villar, Senator and Chairperson of the Committee on Agriculture and Food, Senate of the Philippines, addressed the audience at the Opening Ceremony and reiterated that ˇ°Human resource development is an integral part of sustainable agricultural mechanization. We need to invest on people, for they will be on top of all our mechanization programs and projects.ˇ±

Changing socio-economic patterns, weak implementation of human resource development (HRD) policies, and inadequate private sector engagement are among the challenges shared among the member countries in Asia and the Pacific. In light of these challenges, many member countries have started to promote strengthening of the current efforts in HRD, and to seek new approaches to address mounting concerns. This development involves providing institutional policy and funding support for HRD; introducing different training programmes and university courses to meet the demand for quality- and time-wise diversified education; addressing structural socio-economic changes in the agricultural sector by encouraging the youth and female workers to engage in educational activities; increasing the overall attractiveness of the agricultural sector for the young generation; and introducing stimulating incentives for private sector to play an active role in the development of human resources.

The focus on HRD must be further supported by regional cooperation. Although the context of each member country is unique, many major and pressing problems are common to the whole region. Hence, cooperation can dramatically enrich the capacity of ESCAP member countries to address the pressing issues by means of information and experience sharing. Furthermore, to ensure flexibility and a holistic approach, this cooperation should include exchanges between different concerned stakeholders, including the farming community, academic and research institutions, educational institutions, governments and the private sector.
The participants at the 3rd Regional Forum agreed that a regional mechanism shall be established by CSAM to facilitate cooperation between and among different stakeholders in the field of human resource development of agricultural mechanization. This will be followed up and realized in the coming years.

The Proceedings synthesize the country papers presented by participating countries and presentations of peer organizations, and propose recommendations and the way forward for establishing a cooperation mechanism on human resource development of agricultural machinery in ESCAP member countries in support of sustainable agriculture, food security and poverty alleviation in the region.

 

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