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PH, Korea ink MOU on agri, fishery dev’t

April 29, 2023 Cory Martinez 141 views

TO promote the exchange of scientific and technical resources related to agriculture and rural development between the Philippines and the Republic of Korea, the two countries have forged a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Agriculture and Fishery Development Cooperation.

The Philippines through the Department of Agriculture (DA), represented by Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban, DA-Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) Director Joel Lales, and the Kyungpook National University (KNU) of the Republic of Korea, represented by Daegu Gyeongbuk International Development Cooperation Center Director Hwa Seok Hwang signed the MOU the other day in the presence of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.

Through the DA-KNU MOU, cooperative activities applying the principles of clustering and consolidation, and professionalization of human resources and clientele will be conducted.

The activities will include the organization of professional education and staff development programs through training courses, symposia, and conferences training on digital or smart agriculture, data science for agriculture, and advanced agricultural technology, among others.

The MOU also includes staff development programs and continuous support to Filipino scholars for the KOICA-funded Master’s degree implemented by KNU.

Meanwhile, President Marcos inspected the locally developed technologies and pieces of machinery, including those in collaboration between the DA-Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PHilMech) and the Korea Agricultural Machinery Industry Cooperative (KAMICO) during his recent visit and distribution of agricultural assistance in Nueva Ecija.

Among the PHilMech-KAMICO collaborative projects presented to the President were the corn mill project, lifter machine, and onion mechanization system.

The exhibit also showed advanced Korean innovations, including a truck-mounted wall sprayer for African swine fever (ASF) and Avian Influenza (AI) biosecurity, a cultivator with various implements, and a drone sprayer with a seed spreader.

In his speech, President Marcos shared that there are now many local manufacturers of farm machines as he stressed the need to strengthen and expand the local agri-fishery manufacturing industry, so the sector would not rely on imported pieces of machinery and equipment.

The President also expressed support for the growing industry that will help boost the country’s food sufficiency levels.

On behalf of KAMICO, the chief executive officers (CEOs) of major Korean manufacturing companies such as Bulls, LEEHWA, and Sungboo attended the event together with KAMICO PH Country Representative Philip Kim.

The KOICA Country Director Eunsub Kim also graced the occasion as the President had a glimpse of the ongoing construction of the US$5.78-million worth Agricultural Machinery Design and Prototyping Center (AMPDC) at the PHilMech Compound.

The center is expected to accelerate the mechanization of the agricultural sector by enhancing local technological capacity to design, develop, and manufacture agricultural pieces of machinery.