The 10th Annual Meeting of the Asian and Pacific Network for Testing of Agricultural Machinery (ANTAM) took place from 6 to 8 December 2023 in Jeonju and Iksan, Republic of Korea, co-organized by the Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization (CSAM) of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the Korean Rural Development Administration (RDA), and the Korea Agriculture Technology Promotion Agency (KOAT).
Mr. Ahn Ho-keun, President of the Korea Agriculture Technology Promotion Agency (KOAT); Mr. Lee Seung-don, Director General of the National Institute of Agricultural Sciences of the Rural Development Administration; and Mr. Marco Silvestri, Programme Officer and Deputy Head a.i. of CSAM, welcomed participants from 18 countries joining in person, while others attended online. The Meeting elected Nepal and Bhutan respectively as Chair and Vice Chair for 2024, and welcomed Uzbekistan as it officially joined ANTAM as 20th participating country.
Following presentations by the Chairs of the Technical Working Groups and the ANTAM Technical Reference Unit, the meeting adopted the new Codes 004-2023 on Combine Harvesters and 001a-2023 on Mini Tillers, as well as the updated Quality Manual for the management of testing stations. In view of the accreditation of testing stations under the ANTAM framework, the Meeting also discussed nominations of National Designated Authorities and the involvement of relevant institutions for the establishment of a mutual recognition system of test reports. FAO, as part of the ANTAM Advisory Board, briefed the Meeting about the outcomes and opportunities linked to their Global Conference on Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization, where ANTAM was featured and appreciated.
ANTAM delegates also visited an exhibition of locally manufactured agricultural machinery featuring several automated models, and a tractor factory assembly line, as well as the KOAT facilities in Iksan, where delegates participated in practical testing demonstrations for automated tractors and witnessed the performance of some test items of the OECD Tractor Code.