Farm tourism to open new roads to rural dev't

  • 9 December 2017

Sources: Manila Bulletin, Enjoy Travelling
9 Dec 2017

The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) recognizes the potential of farm tourism to open up new perspectives for inclusive and sustainable agricultural and rural development (ISARD) and revitalize the farm tourism sector in the Philippines and Southeast Asia.

According to SEARCA Director Gil Saguiguit Jr., farm or agriculture tourism diversifies income for small farmers, while promoting sustainable agricultural systems and community involvement.

He also disclosed that Senator Cynthia Villar is pushing for signing into law the Farm Tourism Development Act, which will effectively institutionalize the Philippine government's farm tourism programs in helping raise farmers' incomes and increase players in the rural tourism industry.

Farm tourism workshop

SEARCA last week opened a five-day exposure workshop on farm tourism practices for various stakeholders to learn and adopt trends in farm tourism across Southeast Asia. It received participants from Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Timor Leste, and Vietnam, as well as Taiwan.

The workshop also showcased agriculture as a productive business endeavor and an exciting field of study among young people.

In a similar effort to boost agri-tourism, Saguitguit said the Southeast Asian AgriMuseum and Learning Center in Agricultural and Rural Development will also offer farm tourism workshop in the future.

"These initiatives will place agriculture and the exciting prospects it has to offer centerstage. This is towards greater appreciation of agriculture not just for the youth in their career choices, but also for other important sectors and the general public," he said.

The workshop is in partnership with the Department of Tourism and International School of Sustainable Tourism, which SEARCA has tapped as knowledge partners.

"These two institutions have been very busy making great progress in advancing farm tourism in the Philippines, along with partner agencies like the Agricultural Training Institute of the Department of Agriculture, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, and Department of Trade and Industry, with the active engagement of farm tourism operators," Saguiguit said.