Under the Asian and Pacific Network for Testing Agricultural Machinery (ANTAM) umbrella, FAO and UNAPCAEM held a SAMS Meeting as an initial follow-up to the SAMS Roundtable held December 2011 at FAO¡¯s Regional Office for Asia-Pacific
. The Roundtable, which established a platform for increased substantive collaboration and tangible action on SAMS between FAO and UNAPCAEM, addressed the modalities in developing Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization Strategies (SAMS) that can enable countries to achieve the dual goals of intensifying agricultural production and achieving environmental sustainability. The latter is particularly important for the Asia-Pacific region, which is already beginning to face serious environmental challenges to maintain its agricultural production base.
The SAMS Roundtable also created a SAMS Framework with the overall strategic goal ¡°To address the UN Millennium Development Goals No. 1 and 7 (food security, poverty alleviation, and environmental sustainability) through sustainable intensification of agriculture by creating an enabling environment through a SAMS for the Region.¡± This goal will be met through activities under five major strategic pillars:
- Surveys, assessments and analyses of the current status of agricultural mechanization
- Enabling policies and institutions
- Human capacity development
- Financial support to enhance investment in SAMS.
- Advocacy on sustainable agricultural mechanization.
The SAMS framework is not an end in itself but rather marks the beginning of a long-term approach. Thus, this first post-Roundtable meeting called on country participants to develop an outline under strategic pillar 1. After a day of group work, countries agreed upon 6 key areas to gather information on from their respective country ministries including:
- Existing agricultural practices
- Machinery supply chains
- Policies that are relevant to/cover SAM
- Institutional linkages (intra-, inter-) SAM related
- Existing human capacity for SAMS
- Emerging innovative schemes with implications for SAMS
The SAMS Meeting was attended by country representatives in the area of agricultural mechanization from Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Russian Federation, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and Viet Nam, with all countries agreeing to share and present their findings at the next SAMS activity to be held in Sri Lanka October 2012.