Monday, June 21, 2021

Asturias taps agriculture, tourism as growth drivers

PROSPECTS. Asturias Mayor Jose Antonio Pintor is banking on agriculture and tourism to grow the town’s livelihood, employment and investments. (Contributed)

THE town of Asturias is working on strengthening its agriculture and tourism industries to win more investors.

In an interview, Asturias Mayor Jose Antonio Pintor said the town has been investing in infrastructure to make it easier for farmers to transport their goods.

They also have plans to further boost the town’s livelihood, which is corn production.

Asturias is the biggest corn producer in Central Visayas.

On Saturday, May 8, 2021, Pintor led the inauguration of the town’s corn mill plant.

“This is to ease the burden of corn farmers who go to San Remigio and Balamban for corn milling,” said Pintor. “Making this facility accessible will encourage more farmers to plant more yellow corn.”

High demand for yellow corn is so far seen in animal feeds. Cebu requires about 20 million kilos of yellow corn every month for swine feeds alone.

“The demand really is so high. We have yet to meet it,” he noted.

Asturias’ sprawling fertile land makes it ideal for yellow corn production. At present, the town has about 200 hectares dedicated to corn plantation.

To open more business opportunities, Pintor said wider farm-to-market roads were built, making transportation of goods accessible and efficient. The Asturias local government also provided seedlings and introduced a “plant now, pay later” campaign.

Later on, as the town attracts more farmers to venture into yellow corn production, Pintor said they would invite investors to set up businesses related with corn processing.

“But first, we will need to boost our production volume,” he said.

Tourism investments

Besides boosting its agriculture potential, Asturias also sees a promising future in tourism.

Pintor said investors are now eyeing more possible tourism investments like beach resort facilities and other nature-based attractions.

He disclosed that Virginia Farms is currently developing a beach resort facility in Sitio Looc Sur, Barangay

Poblacion, Asturias.

Moreover, at the reopening of countryside tourism, Asturias wants to be in the radar of local tourists.

Pintor wants the town to get a good share of the returning tourists as it opens up its marine tourism cruise, dolphin watching and other ecotourism activities.

The marine tourism cruise showcases three spots—the Coral Garden in Barangay Owak, the heritage sites in Barangay Looc which are the sea markers Balisang Taas and Balisang Pungkol, and the old mangrove species present in Barangays San Roque and Langub.

For the dolphin watching, tourists will be taken to the Tañon Strait where the dolphins feed in groups.

Pintor said they hope to see more tourism activities in their municipality as it helps create more livelihood for his constituents and generate more income for the local government.

Asturias has the biggest lake in Cebu that transcends two barangays called Buswang Lake in Barangay Bago and Sta. Rita.

At present, the local government has installed boardwalks in the area with plans to set up ziplines and other activities in the area to attract the adventurous tourists.

Aside from the lake, Asturias is also blessed with caves and natural springs including a hot spring in Barangay San Roque.

Pintor said they will develop these attractions because they see their potential in driving economic activity. (KOC)


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