SENATOR Cynthia Villar urged the Victorias City Government to start transforming their agriculture-based city into tourist’s destinations by making existing farms as tourist’s farms in order to help the farmers improve their income and productivity, which will stir the local economy.
Villar graced the city’s 20th Charter Day and Kadalag-an Festival on March 17.
"I am very happy to be here. There are many organic farms in the city. We passed a Farm Tourism Law where we encourage the transformation of farms into tourist’s destinations and also farm schools. That is our hope to develop our agriculture in the country,” she said.
"We can help increase the income and productivity of our local farmers with their farms being transformed into tourists farms. We can invite restaurants in the tourist farms, put up pasalubong centers, encourage homestay and help educate tourists about your place and foods," she added.
They also encourage tourist’s farms to operate farm schools that will be supported by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) for the free tuition of all the students. Tesda will teach them to learn the proper way of agriculture, she said.
"Our agriculture now is not that competitive like the sugar wherein the cost of sugar is cheaper in Thailand. In rice, it is cheaper to buy it from Vietnam than in the country. So we need to help our farmers find means on how to level with cost of these competing countries. We can always be competitive if we prepare our sugar and rice farmers to become competitive," she said.
Mayor Francis Frederick Palanca wanted to improve their organic farms where they have two composting facilities that will turn kitchen and garden wastes into organic fertilizers.
"It is just a model. But we need to encourage more people to do it because the ratio of one composting facility is for every 1,000 families. We can increase it if the people themselves will also do it. We can encourage such practice in the barangays. In Las Pinas, we have 75 composters in just one city. We produce 60 tons of organic fertilizers every month. So the farmers will get a free supply of fertilizers because they will be the one doing it. There is no requirement of a capital only hard work," Villar said.
Organic products are healthy and people are more conscious to eat healthy foods.
She also encouraged Palanca to put up a factory to produce plastic chairs using wastes plastics as its materials.