Training for farm machines pushed

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AGRICULTURE Secretary Emmanuel Piñol has asked state universities and colleges (SUCs) offering degrees in agriculture to train their students in operating a farm tractor and other agricultural achineries to further improve their skills.

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According to Piñol, many of the graduates of agriculture courses do not how to operate a tractor or other farm machineries.

“The Department of Agriculture [DA] and the University of Southern Mindanao [recently]agreed to start a program which would require students of agriculture, agricultural engineering and related courses to undergo training on how to operate modern agriculture equipment and machineries,” the Agriculture chief said in a post on his Facebook page.

He said the DA will provide the University of Southern Mindanao (USM) with farm tractors, rice transplanters, combine harvesters, corn pickers, rice and corn processing centers and solar powered irrigation.

The program, which will start in USM immediately, will be replicated in other SUCs, he added.

“Through this program, state universities and colleges are expected to produce graduates capable of adapting and implementing modern technology in agriculture,” Piñol said.

In an earlier interview, the Agriculture chief said that he will ask all state schools offering degrees in agriculture to have a course on farm mechanization operations, noting that many of the students do not even know how farm equipment and machineries.

“We will convince these schools that part of their curriculum in agriculture subjects should be on operations maintenance, and the appreciation on the operation of machineries and equipment,” he said.

The Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization, an agency under the DA, is currently spearheading farm mechanization efforts in the country through the research and development, and training programs on how to operate and maintain various farm equipment.

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