In an effort to come up with a harmonized measure of level of farm mechanization in the country, the Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Agricultural and Fisheries Engineering (DA-BAFE) is teaming up with Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PHilMech) and the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB).


On February 15, 2023, DA Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban has issued Special Order No. 168 Series of 2023 for the creation of a Technical Working Group (TWG) to facilitate the determination of the level of mechanization/mechanization index (MI) for rice, corn, and sugarcane.


DA-BAFE Director Ariodear Rico is the chairperson of the said TWG whose one of its tasks is to collect and share existing office information and undertake review and assessment of existing methods of computation of MI of rice, corn, and sugar.


Representatives from the DA-BAFE, Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PHilMech), and the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) convened in a meeting last January 20, 2023 at the BAFE Conference Room to discuss the harmonization of the Philippine Agricultural Mechanization Index


Members of the TWG include UPLB CEAT headed by Dr. Rossana Marie Amongo; DA PHilMech led by Dr. Hernaiz Malanon; PhilRice led by Dr. Elmer Bautista and Dr. Jasper Tallada; National Corn Program led by Riciena Louise Bulingot and Venina Gelyn Chua; Sugar Regulatory Administration led by Engr. Laverne Olalia and Engr. Patricio Macamos Jr.; Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries led by Engr. Francia Macalintal; and BAFE-PPMD led by Engr. Cristy Cecilia Polido.


The TWG is also tasked to initiate gathering of pertinent data that will be used in the computation of rice, corn, and sugarcane production, total area of arable lands used, specifications of the machinery among others.


Both UPLB and PHilMech have earlier developed their versions of MI which is a critical element of the National Agri-Fishery Mechanization Plan (NAFMP) 2023-2028. The NAFMP is being finalized by the Department of Agriculture through the BAFE, said Dir. Rico.  NAFMP has always been the basis of mechanization intervention for the development of the agricultural sector


Dr. Amongo, Dean of the UPLB College of Engineering and Agro-industrial Technology, led the development of the Modified Agricultural Mechanization Index (MAMI) that was adopted by DA in November 2017 as national policy to determine the level of mechanization in the country.


Led by Dr. Malanon, the PHilMech Agricultural Mechanization Index (PAMI) was developed to rationalize the machinery distribution of PHilMech under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) Program.  ###DA-BAFE ICTST


Date Published: February 20, 2023