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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Read some of our articles last 3rd Farm Tourism Conference:

Philippine Farm Tourism on the Rise

Dr. Mina Gabor

Last July 1 2015, Farm Tourism Conference which started in 2013, held their 3-day annual event at Batis Aramin, Lucban, Quezon. Delegates composed of Municipal Mayors, Tourism Officers from various Municipalities as well as farm owners from all over the Philippines attended the said event. Aptly themed “Healthy Soils for a Healthy Life” , this year was the biggest and well-attended event according to Dr. Mina Gabor, former Tourism Secretary and now president of International School of Sustainable Tourism (ISST) –  a school which offers intensive short-term certificate programs on community based rural tourism, in partnership with the Department of Tourism and Agricultural Training Institute. Farm Tourism Conference, was borne out of Dr. Gabor’s inspiration and experiences from her travels abroad during her stint as Tourism Secretary as well as his personal love for farming. And since going back to private NGO work, she thought Farm Tourism is the area she wanted to focus on.

Farm Tourism Delegates 2015_LGU

Make no mistake, there is little or no difference between farm tourism and agritourism. “It’s the same, except just for the branding” said Dr. Gabor. Most stakeholder are small and medium farms or family farms. “The thing when you call it Agri, you often associate it with large tracts of land that they didn’t see the different angles of farm activities like lectures, cooking demos, etc. For me farm is more saleable for tour programs – it’s easy to sell.” Dr. Gabor added.

When asked what was the Conference expected output were, Dr. Gabor said “We want people who are not yet into farm tourism to see the success stories. And for those who are already into farm tourism – how else they can improve the development of their farms.”

Among this years speakers were: Leo Libreja (Bicol Strawberry Farm), Avelino Lomboy (Lomboy Farms), Flor Tariela (Flor’s Garden), Daisy Duran (Duran Farm), Edita A. Dacuycuy (RefMad Farms), Mon Penalosa (Penalosa Farm), Costales Nature Farms, Agrea Farm Tourism, Bryan Benitez McLelland (Bambike), Nurture Wellness Village, Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), and Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM).

If you are interested in farm tourism, here are the things you should watch out:

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Pope Francis Calls Farming a Vocation

Pope Francis (Photo: grist.org)

Pope Francis (Photo: grist.org)

“There is no humanity without the cultivation of the land; there is no good life without the food it produces for the men and women of every continent. Agriculture thus demonstrates its central role”

“In agricultural work there is, indeed, acceptance of the precious gift of the land that comes from God, but there is also its development through the equally valuable work of men and women, called to respond boldly and creatively to the mandate forever entrusted to mankind, the cultivation and stewardship of the land”.

“Care for the earth, making alliance with it, in order that it may continue to be, as God wants, the source of life for the entire human family” – Pope Francis

This task, which requires time and energy, constitutes “a true vocation. It deserves to be recognised and suitably valued as such, also in concrete political and economic decisions. This means eliminating the obstacles that penalise such a valuable activity and that often make it appear unattractive to new generations, even though statistics show an increase in the number of students in schools and institutes of agriculture, which leads us to foresee and increase in the numbers of those employed in the agricultural sector. At the same time, it is necessary to pay due attention to the removal of land from agricultural use, to make it available for apparently more lucrative purposes”.

“Vatican Council II reiterated the common destination of earthly goods, but in reality the dominant economic system excludes many people from their correct use. The absolutism of the rules of the market and a throwaway culture in which waste of food has reached unacceptable proportions, along with other factors, have caused poverty and suffering for many families. Therefore, the system of production and distribution of food needs to be fundamentally re-evaluated. As our grandparents taught us, you do not play with food! Bread forms part of the sacredness of human life, and must not therefore be treated as a mere commodity”.

Source: AGWired & Catholic News Agency