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NorMin ABEs enhance capability on testing and evaluation of agri, fisheries machinery

Malaybalay City, Bukidnon – In efforts to further develop the technical capability of agricultural and biosystems engineers (ABEs), the Department of Agriculture through the Bureau of Agricultural and Fisheries Engineering (DA-BAFE) has conducted a five-day refresher course training on testing and evaluation of agricultural and fisheries machinery in Northern Mindanao.

Held at the Northern Mindanao Agricultural Crops and Livestock Research Complex in Dalwangan, licensed ABEs from said region who would be part of the pool of Certified Test Engineers authorized to perform testing and evaluation on agricultural and fisheries machinery have completed the Refresher Course on Testing and Evaluation of Agricultural and Fisheries Machinery.

Of whom, seventeen are ABEs from the local government units (LGUs) in Region 10 (provincial LGUs of Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental, city LGUs of Valencia Malaybalay Gingoog, and Cagayan de Oro, and municipal LGU of Bonifacio, Misamis Occidental); and staff from DA-Regional Field Office 10 (DA-10) through the Regional Agricultural Engineering Division (RAED).

Meanwhile, serving as resource speakers were from UPLB-Agricultural Machinery Testing and Evaluation Center (AMTEC) and BAFE-SRED (Standards Regulation and Enforcement Division).

In his remarks, NMACLRC chief Carmelito R. Lapoot stressed the crucial role of ABEs in modernizing the agriculture sector and the importance of multi-year planning for farm mechanization and infrastructure projects, thus the necessity of enhancing capability of the participating ABEs to implement changes in improving the agricultural sector.

BAFE-SRED Chief Engr. Janice Vargas tackled RA 10601, otherwise AFMech Law, to ensure the quality and safety of locally manufactured or imported agri-fisheries machinery, and further elaborating the need for certifying test engineers, accrediting of testing centers, and certifying agricultural and fisheries machinery.

An overview of DA Department Circular (DC) No. 4 (Accreditation Guidelines for Agricultural and Fisheries Machinery Testing Center) and DC No. 05 series of 2017 as amended by DC No. 10 series of 2018 (National Guidelines on Testing and Evaluation of Agricultural and Fisheries Machinery) were also presented.

Meanwhile, Engr. Romulo Eusebio of UPLB-AMTEC pointed out the significance of testing and evaluation in relation to agri-fisheries machinery standards. “Standards should be based on the consolidated results of science, technology and experience, and must be aimed at the promotion of optimum community benefits,” he said.

Still from UPLB-AMTEC, Engr. Elthon Turtor and Engr. Rhey Marc Albalos lectured on the Philippine National Standards/Philippine Agricultural Engineering Standards (PNS/PAES); operations, specifications and methods of test for corn mill, corn sheller, and disc harrow attached to four-wheel tractor; and preparation and interpretation of test reports.

On top of the lectures, the trainees underwent actual performance testing of machinery focusing on corn mill, corn sheller, and disc harrow attached to four-wheel tractor at the same time were grouped for the preparation of test reports, the conduct of an open forum and presentation of test reports.

Further, an examination was administered for the certification of test engineers, wherein final grades will constitute 60% from their written exam and 40% from their practical examination.

Capping the activity, DA-RFO 10 Regional Technical Director Carlota S. Madriaga expressed her appreciation to the resource speakers from DA-BAFE and UPLB-AMTEC for their knowledge and expertise to enhance the capability of the mustered participants to become Certified Test Engineers, while underscoring the importance of acceptance testing to ensure the quality and durability of any farm machinery procured by the government.# (Marshall Louie Asis)

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