The Ninth Session of Technical Committee (9th TC) of the Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization (CSAM) was held in Bhopal, India on 17-18 October 2013. The 9th TC was hosted by the Central Institute of Agricultural Engineering (CIAE) of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) under the Ministry of Agriculture, the Government of India.
Participants from 13 member states including Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia Federation, Sri Lanka, Thailand, the Philippines, and Vietnam participated in the meeting.
Mr. Zhao Bing, Chief of CSAM and Dr. Pitam Chandra, Director of CIAE opened the meeting on behalf of CSAM and Indian government. Mr. Zhao stressed the importance of promoting sustainable agricultural mechanization in the Asia-Pacific region for food security and poverty alleviation in light of rapid population growth, reduced rural labor, change of dietary pattern and limited natural resources and climate change, and also emphasized the indispensable role of the TC as a technical advisory body in the work programme of the Centre, especially their professional inputs and valuable guidance to the work of the Centre. Dr. Pitam Chandra welcomed participants to attend the 9th TC on behalf of ICAR and praised the Centre’s role in promoting regional cooperation in agricultural engineering and machinery. He briefed delegates on the Indian government recent initiative to promote agricultural mechanization particularly small farm mechanization and custom hiring models, and reiterated Indian government’s interests in collaborating with CSAM on agricultural machinery testing.
The 9th TC focused on the topics of the draft Terms of Reference (ToR) of the Asian and Pacific Network for Testing of Agricultural Machinery (ANTAM), strategic repositioning of the Centre and its proposed project activities for funding for 2014-2016, work report of 2013 and work plan for 2014, and issues related to greater effectiveness of the TC.
Ms. Ai Yuxin, Senior Expert of CSAM, presented the draft ToR of the Asian and Pacific Network for Testing of Agricultural Machinery (ANTAM) and its work plan and briefed the participants of the preparations for the launch of the Network during the Regional Policymakers’ Roundtable on ANTAM, to be held on 18 Nov. 2013 in Bangkok. Additional comments were made to the ToR and will be incorporated in to a final draft for adoption at the 9th GC of CSAM.
Mr. Zhao Bing shared with the participants the renewed mandate of the Centre and presented the five strategic functions of the Centre, i.e. 1) regional forum for regular policy dialogues; 2) data and information hub; 3) reference point for standards and protocols; 4) centre for capacity building; and 5) platform facilitating intra-regional agro-business development and trade. He also outlined the Centre’s proposed project activities for 2014-2016. Ms. Ai Yuxin made a presentation on the work report of CSAM for 2013 and work plan for 2014.
TC members commended on the proposed five strategic functions of the Centre to better reflect the renewed mandate of the Centre and endorsed the work report of 2013 and work plan for 2014. They also agreed in principle with the proposed project activities for funding 2014-2016.
The 9th TC considered a discussion paper on the effectiveness of the TC against the backdrop of the Centre’s recent name change and renewed mandates. It went on to recommend measures to formalize the membership and participation of the TC and to strengthen its technical backstopping to CSAM.
Country presentations were then made by the participants on the latest development of agricultural mechanization in their respective countries.
Participants of the 9th TC visited CIAE premises and its facilities by courtesy of the host.