South Korean firms to build farm machinery plant in PH

By Leslie Gatpolintan

November 20, 2018, 8:04 pm

MANILA -- More than 30 South Korean companies will construct a farm equipment and machinery assembly plant in the Philippines next year, in line with the government’s aggressive mechanization program that aims to boost farm productivity.

“The assembly plant is expected to be operational by late 2019 and will later be converted into a manufacturing facility,” Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Manny Piñol announced in his Facebook page on Tuesday.

Piñol said the plant construction is expected to create employment for young mechanical engineers and other skilled workers in the country.

Shin-gil Kim, president of the Korean Agricultural Machinery Industry Cooperative (KAMICO), said they are looking to construct the assembly plant located in a 50-hectare area in Malvar town in Batangas province.

Batangas Governor Herminilando Mandanas will be meeting with DA officials and KAMICO representatives to finalize the location of the plant.

“We will manufacture machinery and equipment designed for Philippine farms,” Kim said, referring to tractors, harvesters, planters, and other parts and accessories.

Photos by Mayette Tudlas

He said a portion of the 50-hectare area will be used as a demonstration farm which would use the locally-assembled farm equipment and machinery.

Kim signed a memorandum of agreement with the DA for the establishment and operation of the demo farm and training center which will upgrade the technical skills of Filipino farmers.

KAMICO will also establish a research and development center and a training center for farmers and equipment operators.

Kim also bared that 20 more South Korean companies are eyeing to locate their assembly and manufacturing facilities in the Philippines within the next two years until 2020.

Meanwhile, the DA started its engagement with KAMICO in 2017 when about 100 executives of farm equipment and machinery firms held their convention in Mactan, Cebu. (PNA)