Linggo, Setyembre 30, 2018

Loop in Agribusiness: Discovering the Wonders of Farm Tourism

Ever wonder how vast agriculture can be? Well, let’s take a look into the wonderful world of agriculture.

To give an introduction to the most challenged sector here in the Philippines and in the other countries, the agriculture industry offers myriads of possibilities. One of which is the rise of farm tourism. It also plays a vital role in economic development especially in rural areas. With world-class beaches, diving sites and agricultural destinations, the Philippines, through the years has transformed into a wonderful tourist hotspot that is patronized by local and foreign tourist across the world!

As Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said, “It’s more fun and profitable with farm tourism.”

DOT has shifted direction to a more comprehensive plan in prioritizing farm tourism. Farm tourism is the business of attracting more local and foreign tourist to farms and rural areas generally for educational and recreational purposes while creating environment friendly image and encouraging economic activities that can give farms and communities additional income.

If you love to go around and whiff fresh of farm air, feed animals, collect, produce, and eat fresh-cooked farm meals, pick fruits and harvest vegetables and other activities, then farm tourism might be the one you are looking for. Those are just few of the many things you can do and enjoy in these farms. Now, buckle up as we tour you to some of the farm tourism spots in the Philippines.

COSTALES NATURE FARM. Established in 2005 and nestled at the foothills of Mt. Banahaw in Majayjay Laguna. Costales Nature Farm provides workshops for those who wish to learn about sustainable organic farming and farm tourism. They are also accredited as a private extension service provider for the Agriculture Training Institute (ATI) of the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Department of Tourism (DOT) and awarded as the first farm tourism destination in the Philippines.

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Tapped as one of the major single producers of organic high value vegetables and herbs for the Bistro Group, Moment Group, Solaire Resort & Casino, Cibo, Dizon Organics, Dalcielo, Shangri-La Hotel among others, Costales Nature Farms is identified as one of the premiere agri-tourism destinations in the Philippines. Their farm tour packages cater visitors who opt to relax and experience farm life for a day or two.

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EPHRATHAH FARMS. Located at Brgy. Sariri, Badiangan Iloilo, Ephrathah Farms practices organic farming. They are committed to natural food production. Aside from their usual farm production and other tourist accommodation activities, they also offer their place as a venue for events like weddings, celebrations and many more. Having thousands of visitors per month, Ephrathah Farms ensure sustainability in their enterprising activities as it utilizes vermi-composting, a process where food and animal wastes are fed to worms which generates fertilizers. They assure that the harvest served at their farm’s restaurant and produce sold at their supermarket are grown organically.

TERRA VERDE ECO FARM. Terra Verde Ecofarm is an Extension Service Provider (ESP) of Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) which practices integrated diversified farming system. The farm is located in Maragondon, Cavite. Aside from sustaining their farm, they also aim to entertain, educate, and develop enterprises through agri-tourism activities such as accommodations and other farm activities like vegetable picking and feeding and personal encounter with animals in the farm. The Atanacio family who owns Terra Verde Eco Farm offers training to farmers on organic farming practices and help raise awareness for consumers on the do’s and dont’s in farming.

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KAHARIAM FARMS. Located at Barangay Adya, Lipa City, Kahariam Farms promote eco-friendly ways of producing their own food with minimal cost. They also take time on educating students on the importance and benefits of having clean, pesticide free vegetables, and a healthy lifestyle. The farm is advocating Biyaya ng Kalikasan Vermicast, a zero waste technology they use in the benefits of urban farming.

The farm offers activities such as exploration of greenhouses that store tons of valuable worm compost, a tour through their 200-meter covered pathway farms which produced the first organic rice seeds in Asia, feed tilapia & koi fishes at the pond and many more!

MILEA BEE FARM. Accredited by the Department of Tourism, the farm offers more unique experiences to visitors by bringing bees closer to people. They are giving a learning experience not only for the visitors, but also to farmers who want to delve more about the culture of bee keeping and growing different crops organically. Their farm is located in Balagtasin, San Jose, Batangas.

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Following the Republic Act 10816 or the “Farm Tourism Development Act of 2016,” Milea Bee Farm decided to transform their bee farm into a tourism spot by embodying the importance of agriculture in making available food and other products necessary to sustain and enhance human life, and by providing livelihood to a major portion of the population in their community. Apart from their advocacy to promote environment-friendly and efficient and sustainable farm practices, they also provide agricultural services such as bee colony relocation and bee keeping workshop.

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