Unifying efforts of developing agricultural engineering profession as a potent component in the growth and development of the agri-fishery sector in the region, the Philippine Society of Agricultural Biosystems Engineering (PSABE) – Ilocos Chapter conducted its 9th PSABE Regional Convention.

Held on Jan. 23-24, 2020 at the Philippine Rice Research Institute in Batac City, Ilocos Norte, the Regional Convention gathered a total of 175 professional agricultural engineers including the pre-professionals with the theme: The role of Agricultural and Biosystem Engineering towards sustainable agricultural development.

Gracing the occasion as the Guest of Honor and Speaker is no less than Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Office I Regional Executive Director, Lucrecio R. Alviar, Jr. who committed his support to develop the agricultural engineering profession by sharing his intention of hiring additional 32 licensed Agricultural Engineers for a project based activities of DA-RFO I on top of the 25 regular employees of the agency.

“We will recruit these engineers if only to accord the farmers a timely delivery of their much-needed projects,” RED Alviar said.

He then called the four State Colleges and Universities (SUCs) in the region offering agricultural engineering course to recommend alumni of their universities who can be possibly hired by DA-RFO I.

Recognizing the important roles of agricultural engineers in the attainment of Secretary William Dar’s twin goal for a higher production and income of farmers, RED Alviar emphasized the need to look on location-specific interventions such as the provision of agri-machinery and equipment that would suit the need of farmers to attain improved production and income.

Meanwhile, inspiring the participants with her message, Mariano Marcos State University President, Dr. Shirley Agrupis also underscored the valuable role of agricultural engineers in sustaining the growth and development of the agri-fishery sectors.

Emphasizing on the three I’s which stands for Idea, Innovate and Inspire, President Agrupis called on the “Bayaws” to get out from their boxes and make things happen.

“Coming up with a design is not enough, but what matter is the impact that we make to our clilents,” President Agrupis said.

Giving updates on the Bureau of Agricultural and Fisheries Engineering (BAFE) Program including updates on ABE Law otherwise known as RA 10915, Engr. Ariodear Rico, BAFE Director discussed about these programs giving emphasis on the need for proper inventory of the agri-machineries and equipment, including infrastructure and irrigation projects and interventions provided by the DA to farmers organizations and cooperative, including those for repair in the region.

Aside from updating the attendees with agri-engineering information, technical papers were also presented by experts in both the academe and attached agencies of DA providing salient inputs on how Ag Eng could contribute to the sustainable growth and development of the agriculture sector.

Likewise, the PSABE Convention served as avenue for a reorganization of the PSABE Ilocos Chapter with Engr. Mark Harry Pastor as the newly elected President.