DAP to conduct Asian food and agribusiness conference

The Development Academy of the Philippines, in cooperation with the Asian Productivity Organization, will conduct a three-day international conference called “Asian Food and Agribusiness Conference: Enhancing Exports of Organic Products” this September 13-15 at the DAP Conference Center in Tagaytay City.

The conference, expected to be attended by participants from the APO’s 14 member countries namely: Cambodia, India, Islamic Republic of Iran, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Taiwan Republic of China, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, Fiji, and Philippines. The conference aims to provide a platform for leaders of the organic agrifood sector to discuss emerging trends as well as issues and challenges affecting the productivity and sustainability of Asian organic agrifood small- and medium-scale enterprises.

The conference will be graced by the country’s key movers in the development of the agriculture sector from both legislative branches of government led by Senator Cynthia A. Villar, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food; Congressman Jose T. Panganiban Jr., Chairperson of the Committee on Agriculture and Food of the House of Representatives; and, Ms. Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, Undersecretary for Agribusiness and Marketing and Regional Engagement of the Department of Agriculture, as the lead agency for the promotion of organic agriculture in the country.

It also seeks to bring together key stakeholders in the said sector, share successful models of SMEs in organic farming and marketing and exporting organic products as well as enhance understanding of export opportunities for agribusiness and food industry SMEs while strengthening them for promoting inclusive growth in their countries.

International cast

Scheduled to serve as resource persons in the conference is an international cast that includes Mr. Andre Leu, President of International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) – Australia; Harrace Hok Chung Lau, Director of Asia Pacific eOneNet Limited of Hong Kong; Ms. Chayaa Nanjappa, founder of the Nectar Fresh, Pure Honey and Food Products of Karnataka, India; Sakoto Miyoshi, representative of Global Organic Textile Standard of Japan; Dr. Zhou Zejiang, senior adviser to the Organic Food Development Center under the Ministry of Environmental Protection in China; Dr. Shaikh Tanveer Hossain, program officer of the APO. Equally competent resource speakers from the Philippines include Mr. Patrick B. Belisario, Chairperson of the Organic Producer Trade Association and Vice-President of the IFOAM-Asia; Ms. Cherrie De Erit Atilano, President and Chief Executive Officer of the AGREA Philippines; and others who will share good practices in farming, marketing and promotions of agrifood products.

Representatives from national and local government offices, members of the academe, state universities and colleges, and employees of agribusinesses and other agricultural enterprises are expected to join the conference.

Conference topics

Among the topics to be discussed during the first two days, which will be capped on the third day by the participants’ visit to an SME site, are emerging global and regional trends, opportunities and challenges in organic agriculture and the food industry; key regulations governing the entry of organic food products in major markets such as the US, Japan and Europe; development of business intelligence, certification system, and other support programs for organic exporters; digital technology for developing smart organic product value chains; and successful models of organic agribusiness and food industry SMEs.

Interested parties may check facebook.com/dap.edu.ph, or e-mail the organizers at flaminianoj@dap.edu.ph and eparwac@dap.edu.ph, or call (+632) 631-21-37.

Why Philippines is one of the Most Pleasant Place to stay in the World- Dr. Mina Gabor

On July 8, 2016 at the Presscon on Philippines’ 4th Farm Tourism Conference at Sofitel, Dr. Mina Gabor, the former Department of Tourism Secretary, now head of International School of Sustainable Tourism (ISST) said that the event is tied up with the UN’s theme this year as Year of the Pulses (Pulses, means dried grains). It aims to give information about farm tourism for all interested individuals to gain new insights on how to start a farm and make it attractive to tourists.

During the open forum, one question raised from the audience was about how much will it cost to start a farm. She said that you can start a simple farm tourism site for less than a million, or at least 500 thousand pesos. Then it’s up to the owner to add extra farm activities to make it sustainable as it drives more income to your farm.

Dr. Gabor also mentioned that the Philippines is the safest and the most pleasant place to stay for tourists. To find out why, here’s our quick interview with her.

Farmers Notebook: You have mentioned earlier that Philippines is the most pleasant place to stay, why is that?

Dr. Mina Gabor: Well, right now, credit to the last administration, we’re able to create an image of a good place for investment and a good place to do business. Business will not go to a place that is not pleasant. So either you have good tourism and business comes after, or good business and then tourism comes after. That means the place is conducive. Besides, there is no country right now in the world that is not menaced by anybody. Right now, you cannot say this country is secure, or this country is not secure. Even the most secure country, nagugulat na lang sila bigla (they were surprised all of a sudden) something happened.

Right now, I think tanggap ng mga tao (people now has accepted) that food security is not present in anyone – is not an inclusivity in any country. That means we have to be prepared. And as good travelers, we should know where to go and when to go. When you are there, you should know which places can you go, and that is basic travel planning.

What I am saying, is that the places you should avoid, you should not go. So Luzon and Visayas – they are all 90% secure and there’s no problem. So it’s very pleasant to go and is very interesting. Also, the development of farm tourism is very high in these areas right now.

FN: Are we competitive enough in terms of farm tourism and among Asian countries?
MG: A yeah yeah. Very much. O yes!

The most advance farm tourism site now is Taipei (Taiwan), Japan, a little bit of Australia, a lot of North America, a little bit of South America and as much as American Europe, because they were the first to develop farm tourism. Italy is the father of farm tourism in the real sense of the word.

FN: What then is our edge?
MN: Our edge is our natural way of hospitality. Very natural sa atin yon e (That”s very natural to us). While the others… well, I traveled ASEAN recently. Hospitable din naman sila (they are also hospitable). Kaya lang sa atin, ang hospitality natin is open arms, parang no limit (Thing is, our hospitality is open arms and almost without limits). Sa kanila ang hospitality ay di ka basta makakarating sa bahay nila (Hospitality for them means you can’t easily get access into their own homes). They are very good but not open to anybody. Sa atin kasi sa mga bahay, they really let us go in; so, all the way talaga (Its really an all the way thing, because to us, we really make our homes readily accessible to them).

Filipinos are known for being hospitable and that’s one sure advantage. Its also an assurance that anyone can visit the Philippines not only for its beautiful beaches but also its developing farm tourism sites including a number of organic farms around the country.

President Aquino inked Law on Farm Tourism

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Photo: Philippine Star

President Benigno S. C. Aquino III recently signed RA No. 10816 also known as the Farm Tourism Development Act of 2016. The RA 10816 is a consolidation of Senate Bill No. 3002 and House Bill No. 5299, which the Senate and House approved on February 2016.

The law defines farm tourism (also called agritourism or agrotourism) as ““the practice of attracting visitors and tourists to farm areas for production, educational and recreational purposes.” The said bill seeks to improve the income and economic viability of small farmers and rural communities, where poverty rates are highest.

Under the said bill, the Farm Tourism Development Board (which shall be attached to the Department of Tourism (DoT) shall be headed by the Tourism Secretary as Chairperson and the Agriculture Secretary as Vice Chair. While members of the Board are composed by the Trade Secretary, President of Educational Institution providing farm tourism programs, President of a National Farm Tourism Organization, President of national inbound tour operators association,  President of national federation of farmers cooperatives.

Related: 4th Farm Tourism Conference

The Farm Tourism Development Board shall formulate plans and programs for the development and promotion of farm tourism in the Philippines and shall set the overall direction in the implementation of the Farm Tourism Strategic Action Plan, which is integrated with the National Tourism Development Plan.

The Farm Tourism Strategic Action Plan shall include: investment promotion and financing, market research, trends, innovations, and information, accreditation of farm tourism camps, institution and human resource development, infrastructure development.

Accreditation of farm tourism areas shall be on a voluntary basis and will be valid for two years. Said accreditation may be suspended or revoked should there be any violation of the set standards.

Among the law makers who supported the passing of this Bill are Congresswoman Sharon S. Garin of AAMBIS-OWA Partylist and Senator Cynthia Villar, Chair on Agriculture and Food.

Source: Manila Bulletin; Business World

Piñol’s 3 Point Agenda for PH Agriculture

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DA Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” Piñol (Photo: http://radyo.inquirer.net)

Incoming DA Secretary, former three-term governor and vice governor of North Cotabato, Emmanuel “Manny” Piñol bares his initial plans for Philippines’ agriculture industry, namely:

  • Fast and effective agricultural technology-transfer to farmers
  • Easy access to financing
  • Efficient marketing for farmer’s produce

In order to achieve these, the following will be implemented:

  • A nationwide School-on-the-Air (SOA) program will be implemented wherein latest and best agricultural practices and technologies will be shared by DA technical staffs and even the secretary himself through said radio program.
  • DA to push for micro-lending program to benefit by most small farmers. An allocation of P1B per region for agriculture programs will also be implemented as per directive of President-elect Duterte.
  • Establishment of well-functional regional food terminals.

After being appointed as the DA Secretary, incoming President Rodrigo Duterte’s marching command to Piñol was to “ensure available, affordable food for Filipinos and no corruption in the Department of Agriculture (DA).”

Recently, Piñol started doing his rounds in the far-flung areas of the country to visit the Filipino farmers and fishermen in order for him to present the situations of the farmers on June 30, 2016 – the day when President-elect Duterte will take his oath as the president of the Philippines.

Through his journey he called “Byaheng Bukid” he hopes to reach all the remote areas of the country never before reached by other government officials.

Piñol holds a master in rural economic development and claims to be the first practicing farmer to head DA. He was also the brain behind Duterte’s campaign program for farmers which can be read on a book he authored entitled “Feeding Millions: Duterte’s food security blueprint.”

Cultivate Profit at the 4th Farm Tourism Conference

4th farm tourism conference

Perhaps you have a working farm that is ripe for a Farm Tourism Site to diversify your income. Or maybe you have an unproductive land that can be developed. Either way, Farm Tourism is an exciting venture which you can easily adapt. It also provides employment for local communities, thus a vehicle for empowerment both socially and economically. And with the growing interest in healthy lifestyle, locally grown produce and low-impact travel, it’s no wonder that farm tourism is here to stay.

Learn all these and more at the coming 4th Farm Tourism Conference on July 14-17, 2016 to be held at Summit Ridge Hotel, Tagaytay City. This is also held in celebration of 2016 International Year of Pulses.

Some exciting activities lined-up are as follows:

Conference Proper

Learn and share best practices in the farm tourism industry from the experts in the field. Our international and local guest speakers will be presenting a range of topics relevant to both aspiring and operational farm tourism owners. The conference will also include:

  • In-depth discussion and Q&A with the team behind the newly-signed RA 10816, also known as the “Farm Tourism Development Act of 2016
  • UN FAO’s International Year of Pulses
  • Honeybee propagation and mushroom farming
  • Break-out sessions with a panel experts on (1) marketing and promotions of farm tourism destinations, (2) basic layout of farm tourism destinations, and (3) how to create farm tourism packages
Farm Tourism Exhibit

Plan your next vacation at a farm! Choose from the growing community of farm tourism operators from all over the Philippines who will be showcasing their travel packages at special discounted rates. Farm tourism activities can range from guided farm tours, fruit picking, horse riding, organic meals, restful spas, and more.

Farmers Market

Patronize Pinoy! Buy fresh and locally-grown farm produce and gift items from the top suppliers all over the Philippines. Bring home innovative products to your families as pasalubong, and uplift the lives of Philippine farmers

Farm Tours

Experience first-hand the joys of farm tourism by joining us for a whole day of farm tours! Tagaytay and its adjoining municipalities are fast becoming destinations for farm tourism, with a range of sites to visit and explore. See for yourself the innovative activities and products they offer. Who knows, this may just be your next family vacation!

Click here to Sign-up!

For more details, please contact the event secretariat at:
Email: info@isstphilippines.edu.ph
Telefax: +632 834 2994
Mobile: +63 920 225 8690

You may also check 4th Farm Tourism Conference on FB.

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