Studies & Degrees in Agricultural Mechanization
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Food production is one of the major concerns of all societies. Countries should be able to feed its population from its product; otherwise, run the risk of starving its people. Modern Agriculture plays a very crucial role in ensuring that this task is done. Among the many branches of Agriculture, Agricultural Mechanization has direct correlation to agricultural productivity.
Mechanization comes from the root word “mechanize” - a verb synonymous to implementation, automation, or use of machinery – is a process wherein manual, animal, or motorized power is utilized in achieving an end goal. Mechanization has always been associated with increase in productivity and increased efficiency in producing goods and services. The words Agricultural Mechanization, therefore, implies the use or applications of machinery in agricultural activities, like land preparation, planting, and harvesting with the purpose of increasing productivity and efficiency in doing these activities - thereby increasing the profitability of farming. In developing countries, around 80% of agricultural machineries still rely on human and animal power. In developed countries, on the other hand, almost all farming activities are now motorized.
Agricultural Mechanization is a specialization under the broader study of Agriculture. It encompasses all procedures involved in the identification of needed farm machineries and equipment in a particular area; conceptualization and design of prototype based on the identified need; field-testing of prototype in actual farming environment; and the marketing and distribution of equipment if found acceptable and feasible to the target end-users. This field also touches on management principles, such as production, planning, control, and profitability of the farming business as a whole.
As a field of study, Agricultural Mechanization students are exposed to both the technical and the mechanical aspects of farming. The students are trained in the needs assessment of machines specific to a certain agricultural setting, and they also learn to conduct acceptability of certain designs to its target market. These are usually done through field testing of the equipment in an actual farming setting, wherein the user (farmers) provides feedback on the design or prototype.
Furthermore, Agricultural Mechanization students learn to forecast the feasibility of mass producing the designs and marketing and distributing the products. They are also educated in the fundamentals and dynamics of internal combustion engines and electrical machineries, and they get to experience hands-on the operation, maintenance, and troubleshooting of basic farm machineries, such as tractors, tillers, and harvesters. Aside from the technical and mechanical part of the program, students are also introduced to (1) the concept of economies of scale, (2) the socio-economic factors affecting the potential success or failure of agricultural machineries, and (3) business aspect to make students appreciate and understand profitability of the endeavor.
Graduates of the Agricultural Mechanization curriculum could choose several career paths. They could become designers and developers of machineries; product testers; or technical consultants of firms manufacturing machineries. They could also put up their own business and engage in farm management or become distributors of agricultural machineries.