How We Got Started
In 1979, the Agricultural Mechanization Development Program (AMDP) was founded by the Institute of Agricultural Engineering and Technology (INSAET) as a counterpart national institute of the Philippines to the Regional Network for Agricultural Machinery (RNAM) under the United Nations-Economic and Social Council for Asia and the Pacific (UN/ESCAP), and as research, development and extension arm of INSAET. The network was established to promote technical cooperation to accelerate development in farm mechanization in Asia and the Pacific. RNAM actively worked on raising the level of agricultural productivity through the use of appropriate tools, machinery and technology. For several years, the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) hosted the RNAM office together with its other seven member countries, India, Indonesia, Iran, Korea, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.
Aligned with the thrusts of RNAM, AMDP’s activities focused on the following: formulation of policies and strategies, and implementation of programs related to agricultural mechanization; research on socio-economic aspects of agricultural mechanization systems; design, development, and promotion of agricultural machinery for local use; test and modification of prototypes to suit local conditions; provide technical assistance in the manufacture of farm machinery to make them available to farmers; and disseminate information to promote agricultural mechanization.
As early as 2013, Republic Act 10601, an act promoting agricultural and fisheries mechanization development in the country, also known as the Agriculture and Fisheries Mechanization (AfMech) Law, was enacted. As specified in Article 3 Section 8 of the law, AMDP, which is part of the Agri-Fisheries Mechanization RDE Network shall be strengthened and institutionalized to lead and coordinate the agricultural and fishery mechanization RDE program of all academic institutions in the country. Its role in the national mechanization program was reinforced and solidified.
AMDP was elevated into the Center for Agri-fisheries and Biosystems Mechanization (BIOMECH) of CEAT-UPLB through the approval of the Board of Regents in 2015, to better represent the scope and renewed vision of the organization. BIOMECH put a collective effort into aligning its new mandate with its RDE guiding principles and strategic goals.