The Philippine Star
Sokor rms mull Phl assembly plant for farm mechanization
South Korean manufacturing firms are interested in putting up an assembly plant in the country to contribute to the improvement of local farm mechanization.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said South Korean agricultural machinery and equipment manufacturers expressed willingness to set up a facility in the country that will assemble tractors and other farm equipment.
Piñol recently attended a convention of about 200 chief executive officers of South Korean agricultural machinery corporations in Cebu.
He said the Korean Agriculture Machinery Industry Cooperative (KAMICO) was hoping the Philippine government could allocate an area for the proposed assembly plant.
“I called up the Bases Conversion and Development Authority to relay the request of KAMICO for an assembly plant area. He immediately assured me of a 50-hectare location within Clark Airbase for the KAMICO assembly plant,” Piñol said.
“By establishing their assembly plant in the Philippines, South Korean machinery and equipment manufacturers expect a reduction in the prices of farm implements and equipment,” he added.
The Agri chief emphasized that the establishment of an assembly plant in the Philippines would translate to more investments and more jobs for skilled workers.
Mechanization is one of the flagship programs being pushed by the Duterte administration for the agriculture sector.
The DA has been pushing for a standardized mechanization program as the country’s lack of access to efficient farm equipment and facilities has a great effect on the national post-harvest loss level, which averages at 16 percent annually.
This translates to about three million metric tons of rice loss per year.
“With a farm mechanization level of only 2.1 horsepower per hectare, the Philippines lags behind in productivity because of huge post harvest losses of 16.4 percent of total production, mainly in harvesting and milling,” Piñol said.
“Philippine agriculture needs about $3 billion over the next five years to be able to make agriculture and fisheries in the country efficient and more productive,” he added.
According to the DA, an increase in farm mechanization could make Filipino farmers as competitive as their counterparts in Thailand and Vietnam.