Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thailand: Agricultural machinery in focus at conference

A conference, Agricultural Machinery n Rice Production: A Challenge for ASEAN, was organized jointly by Naresuan University and the Thai Rice Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, highlighting mechanization options and new technologies.

It was held in Chiangmai on 26-28 November 2012 and was attended by 150 participants from nine countries that includes government policymakers, researchers and academics, and private sector representatives.
Alfred Schmidley, IRRI scientist and business model development and market specialist, delivered a plenary lecture, Status and prospects for farm mechanization in rice production.

“While the key drivers of mechanization—including labor shortages, cropping intensification, and the need for increased efficiency and power during peak pre-harvest and post-harvest operations—have not changed, the landscape has," says Dr. Schmidley.

Dr. Schmidley said that ensuring sustainability, food quality, and efficient resource use remain major challenges for the ASEAN and other rice-growing regions and will require not only improved mechanization solutions but also more innovative approaches to delivery, better access to and exchange of information and knowledge, and better understanding of local needs and constraints. 

“Hence, this requires not only better mechanization solutions but cross-sector actors working together in a global environment to ensure successful outcomes,” he adds.

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