Sustainable agricultural mechanization plays a crucial role in ensuring that agriculture initiatives and inputs are not only environmentally sustainable and technically efficient, but are also economically viable especially in increasing the production yield and in ensuring decent sustainable income for the farmers.
Being grounded on agriculture as its grassroots foundation, Central Philippines State University (CPSU) today endeavors to become the leading technologically-driven institution in the region so as to provide skills and technology assistance with life-changing impacts to the underserved farmers for a greater aim of mitigating poverty in the rural community.
Embarking towards the realization of this goal, the University signed partnership with RU Foundry and Machine Shop Corporation for the conduct of “Research on the Designing and Fabrication of Tractor and Implementing the Community-based Rural Industrialization Project” last September 2020.
The tractor’s sleek design, completely assembled just this year in 2021, is built to grapple the type of geographical terrain in the region. Its unique design is a response to both agencies’ advocacy for Conservation Agriculture with constant inputs and consultation from its partner institution, the Kansas State University through Dr. Manuel “Manny” Reyes. This machine is considered environmentally-adaptable to ensure that there is minimum soil disturbance, thus, ensuring soil protection while enhancing soil health.
Dr. Aladino Moraca, CPSU president, stated that this undertaking is geared to provide socio-economic impacts that support climate change, food security, and poverty alleviation for decent and gainful living, as well as development of students’ potentials in their pursuit for entrepreneurship endeavors.
“With designing and fabrication of appropriate tools, equipment and agricultural machineries for the promotion and intensification of organic farming, social and action research in its priority areas, and other innovations as the current direction of the institution’s Research Unit, teamed with the right company, then no doubt that CPSU could come up with the first-ever tractor fabricated in the Philippines. This will be the pride of Negros and a legacy of CPSU to the entire country,” Dr. Moraca said.
This is primarily aligned to the University’s Research and Extension thrusts on technology generation and innovation including the bridging of service programs and projects through technology transfer, support facilities, and the creation of sustainable livelihood programs to benefit students, small farmers, agrarian reform beneficiaries, indigenous peoples and other stakeholders in the entire Province of Negros Occidental.
Working along the same line of advocacy, the RU Foundry, represented by its president Ms. May Aileen Uy, an established corporation that operates in the entire country, which have long been in the industry of manufacturing and fabricating agri-tools and equipment to support farmers in attaining food security and in developing their potentials for community-based enterprises, expressed whole support to CPSU through this tandem.
The company also engage in research and development on agri-machineries and equipment and best practices on organic farming and conservation agriculture to bolster best practices that are practical and efficient to answer specific needs of farmers.
With their partnership with CPSU, through the College of Agriculture and Forestry (CAF), College of Engineering (COE), Information Technology (IT), and the Research and Extension Services, the two agencies agree to allocate certain amount for the fabrication and endurance testing of the said machine to determine the quality, appropriateness and performance of the said tractor.
With the surefire tangible output of this partnership, it is expected to contribute in spurring rural industrialization leading towards the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals.
By: J.A. Emoy