IN THE bid to develop an inclusive and sustainable ecopark proposed by an agrarian reform beneficiaries organization (Arbo) in Cadiz City, an assessment was conducted by various government agencies and offices in Negros Occidental.
Provincial Supervising Tourism Operations Officer Cristine Mansinares, who was part of the assessment team visited the site at Barangay Caduha-an on Friday, said a master development plan for the ecopark is underway.
The Dalayapan Agrarian Reform Cooperative (Darco) wanted other agencies to provide inputs to make sure that such development plan will be inclusive and sustainable, she added.
The assessment was part of the convergence meeting attended by representatives of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office, Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, Provincial Environment Management Office, Department of Agrarian Reform and Negros Occidental Tourism Division.
Composed of 102 farmer-members, Darco unveiled its coffee shop business in May this year. It sits within the cooperative's proposed 20-hectare ecopark.
The Dalayan Ecopark, now on its development stage, is seen to start operating most probably next year.
The amenities include campgrounds, spring pool and other recreational facilities.
Mansinares said the coffee shop, which helps the cooperative to sustain their operations, has a relaxing and breezy ambiance.
The shop is now a popular stopover for coffee, but-ong (sticky rice with minced ginger cooked in coconut milk), and native chicken dishes.
The 12.5-kilometer concrete road and bridge from the main road leading to the site was constructed under the Philippine Rural Development Project.
It also has a section for the farmers' produce such as rice, vegetable, honey, coconut, and banana.
Because of its scenic terrain, biking route planning was also conducted earlier.
Mansinares said the trail will be launched soon along with the cottages for day trip, plunge pool, viewing deck, meeting hall, and camping area.
"The agrarian reform beneficiaries have long standing commitment to cooperativism," she said, adding that it has successfully implemented health, education, agriculture, and business-related projects for the past five years.