The Director of the Department of Agriculture awarded the provisional certificates for quality and safety compliance to four firms dealing with sale of farm machines in the country on May 27. The certificates were issued for the products conforming to the tests and standards developed and approved with support of the Bhutan Standards Bureau (BSB).
The Agriculture Machinery Certification Section of Agriculture Machinery Centre (AMC) was strengthened with support of the Japanese Technical Assistant Project and BSB. The section is well equipped with project support and manned by staff trained at the Institute of Agricultural Machinery which is the agriculture machinery testing centre in Omiya, Japan.
Sangay Lhendup, the Principal Engineer of the testing and certification section of AMC says that they are capable of conducting inspection and tests on most common farm machines in the country. The section still maintains a technical link with the Japanese institutes who still continues to provide the technical back up support and advice.
AMC today with support of BSB has developed standards for a number of popular farm machines in the country. The objective is to ensure that the farm machines being promoted in the country possess basic safety features with adequate level of qualities.
Issuance of the provisional certificates of compliance for specific machines is expected to give the investors, farmers and the financiers an added confidence in their decision. It will provide some assurance that the machine they intend to invest in will provide adequate services. It will also help the traders to assess the efficiency, durability and safety of the machines they intend to import and supply. This would in turn enhance the viability of the business in the future.
According to the Program Director of AMC, Kinga Norbu, the concern has been growing lately as the variety of farming machines being imported from many countries has considerably increased. The machines vary considerably in terms of the safety and quality. Although AMC does not have strong legal support for the enforcement of the safety and quality, the centre will however diligently pursue the cause to support and collaborate with various stakeholders. Ensuring quality and safety is not only for the interest of the individual farmers but preventing inefficiency and wastes are also of national interest.
The four certificate recipient firms with list of certified farm machines are Farm Machinery Corporation Limited (FMCL) for Yanmar Power Tiller and Reaper/Mitsubishi Mini Tiller, Karma One Stop Shop for Mini Tiller/Mini Oil Expeller/Compact Rice Mill, Sonam Wangchuk Drongphen Dealers for Vikyno Power Tiller/Mubota Mini Tiller and New Enterprise, Sangay Yeshi for Mini Tiller.
The certificates were awarded in presence of officials from the Department, AMC, Offtg. CEO of FMCL and the proprietors and representatives of the private firms.
Submitted by AMC with a photo by Choidup Zangpo, ICTD
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