Source: The Fiji Times18 Aug 2017A TWO-day workshop focused on strengthening Fiji's smallholder farmers concludes at the Southern Cross Hotel in Suva today.
Coordinated by the Crops Extension Services of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Pacific Community (SPC), the workshop titled 'Supporting smallholder farmers in Asia and Pacific Islands Region through Strengthened Agricultural Advisory...Read more
MANILA, Philippines – Dr. Bessie M. Burgos, Program Head for Research and Development of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), served as a panelist in an episode of the web series billed "2030" led by CIFAL Philippines. Hosted by the University of the Philippines Center for Integrative and Development Studies (UP CIDS), CIFAL...Read more
Nineteen bio-business students from Tokyo University of Agriculture (Tokyo NODAI), Japan visited SEARCA on 17 August 2017 for a briefing on the Center's programs and activities. The students were accompanied by TUA Assistant Professors Nina Nocon-Shimoguchi (standing, 9th from right) and Shinichi Hangui (standing, 9th from left). Associate Professor Loida E. Mojica (standing, 7th from...Read more
Source: The Manila Times18 Aug 2017THE Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) launched a project that seeks to harmonize farm trade within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which has placed integration of agricultural markets high on its policy agenda.
The project called "Agricultural Transformation and Market Integration in...Read more
VICTORIA, Oriental Mindoro, Philippines – The Victoria Kalamansi Farmers' Federation (VKFF) conducted another round of training on calamansi processing on 16 August 2017, in preparation for the market-testing and product-launching of the calamansi juice and concentrate to be produced by the federation by October 2017. The one-day training on calamansi processing was facilitated by...Read more
Forty-two new MS and PhD students joined the roster of SEARCA scholars this Academic Year 2017-2018, bringing to 144 the number of scholars currently supported by SEARCA. On 13 August 2017, the Graduate Education and Institutional Development Department (GEIDD), headed by Dr. Maria Cristeta Cuaresma, Program Head, met with 64 scholars enrolled at UPLB to orient them of their privileges...Read more
The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) has firmed up its linkages with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and local government units (LGUs) at the Provincial Alliance Building Dialogue for the Province of Laguna as an alternative approach to reach farmers and grassroots communities. Los Baños-based SEARCA hosted the...Read more
LOS BAÑOS, LAGUNA– The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) concluded on 11 August 2017 the final leg of national inception workshops in five countries under the "Agricultural Transformation and Market Integration in the ASEAN Region: Responding to Food Security and...Read more
Research and Development Generating information, knowledge, lessons, and insights that will influence policies, investments, trade, and other actions that will promote competitive agriculture, as well as inclusive and sustainable ARD. Read More
Knowledge Management Promoting a learning culture, knowledge creation, knowledge-sharing and use, with a predominant focus on the broad strategic theme of ISARD. Read More
Agritourism in the Philippines - untapped potential
“Agritourism is not for everyone, it’s a niche product but it has a lot of potential”, asserted Prof. Eli Paolo Fresnoza, Assistant Professor at UP’s Asian Institute of Tourism during SEARCA’s Agriculture and Development Seminar Series on 5 July 2011 at the Drilon Hall.
As a hybrid concept fusing together the elements of the tourism and agriculture industries, agritourism can be harnessed as a form of special interest tourism focusing on the unique travel experiences and activities that people can have in agricultural settings. When people travel, it is the attraction or experience that people go for; if food and beverage, accommodation and transportation are included in the package, even a farm can be a tourist destination. Prof. Fresnoza explained that agritourism is sustainable tourism as it marries the concept of enjoyment with resource management, community empowerment, cooperation, fair trade and diversification. Moreover, agritourism does not need large capital investment outlay because many existing farm sites just need to be enhanced.
In 2002, with the vision of the Philippines becoming the premier agritourism destination in Asia, the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) worked with the UP Asian Institute of Tourism on a manual that identified initial agritourism sites all over the country such as the C & B Orchid Farm in San Rafael, Bulacan, Sonya’s Secret Garden in Alfonso, Cavite, Oroverde in Guimaras, and Del Monte Plantation in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon. In recent years, more agritourism sites have been developed including Bohol Bee Farm in Dauis, Bohol, Dragon Fruit Farm in Burgos, Ilocos Norte and The Farm at San Benito, Batangas.
As the agritourism sector is still largely private-sector-driven, a few challenges to meeting agritourism’s potential in the Philippines include confusion on which government agency will lead the potential (Is it DOT or DA?), and limited standardization and accreditation. Prof. Fresnoza put forward a few specific recommendations to meet these challenges. These include: education and curriculum development in secondary and post-secondary schools, improvement of access to capital, technical training and accreditation and certification, setting up of an agritourism center for research, development and innovation as well as an agritourism destination marketing bureau.
“Harnessing agritourism opportunities is key to regional development”, Prof. Fresnoza reiterated. This can be done in two ways. One is the bottom-up approach, where established farms approach DOT and DA to help them market and promote the experiences they offer. The other is the top-down approach, where through training and financial grants, the two departments help farms that have potential but lack the capability to market their destinations.
DISCLAIMER: The point of view taken by this article is entirely that of the presenter's and does not reflect in any way, SEARCA’s position.