The Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF) Committee on Agricultural and Fisheries Mechanization (CAFMech) conducted its second online meeting on April 20, 2021, to discuss emerging issues and concerns from the previous meeting.

A PhP237,747,000 budget proposal was made by the Bureau of Agricultural and Fisheries Engineering (BAFE) for FY 2022 which is in line with Department of Agriculture Secretary William Dar’s OneDA Holistic Approach. This budget proposal also conforms to the internal guidelines that at least 50% of the proposed budget shall be allotted to programs and projects intended for farmers, fisherfolks, and other stakeholders.

Three resolutions were adopted during the committee meeting. First is requesting the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PHilMech) to fund the concept proposals that were presented during the meeting under the Agricultural and Fisheries Mechanization. Research, Development, and Extension (AFMECH-RDEN). Second, is recommending the BAFE to consolidate the proposed amendments to RA 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act, and Third is the Recommending to the ACEF Program Management the inclusion of funding support to local A&F machinery manufacturers. 

Updates on the audit results conducted by the Nationwide Agri-Fisheries Investment Audit Team (NAFIAT) were also presented during the meeting. It was recommended that low-performing farmer organizations must be given proper support through the provision of appropriate machines based on their operational capacity and ability to maintain.

It was also recommended that the regional and national machinery inventory should be completed and should include other machinery provided by other agencies to avoid duplication and to ensure optimum utilization of resources. It was also pointed out that reports of low-quality machines should be documented to prevent repeated procurement of low-quality machines.

Before adjourning the meeting, the committee named a possible agenda for their next meeting which is still subject to the approval of the board. ###CCB