LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- The fusion of agriculture and tourism as a driver of Cordillera regional development has been the goal of the Department of Tourism in spearheading the first Sustainable Farming and Tourism Conference at the Benguet State University (BSU) February 25.
Agriculture experts, tourism officers, cooperatives and government officials as well as farm owners and agriculture and tourism stakeholders from various parts of Cordillera attended the conference.
DOT Cordillera Regional Director Marie Venus Tan emphasized bringing in tourism will be a step forward for the agriculture industry in Cordillera, which is the traditional and main source of livelihood of most families in the region.
“The fusion of agriculture with tourism will benefit both sectors as it will boost the country’s economy by improving income and potential economic viability of small farms and rural communities,” said Tan.
“Agro-tourism is already present in the Cordilleras, all we have to do now is strengthen it. We have to encourage more farmers and entrepreneurs to venture into this kind of undertaking and provide other farms with the opportunity to expand and view agro-tourism as a viable source of livelihood opportunities,” Tan added.
Agritourism or Agrotourism involves any agriculturally based operation or activity that attracts visitors to a farm or areas used primarily for agricultural purposes.
For the conference, DOT partnered with the Max Group Inc., which provided the resource persons led by Director Carolyn Salud and executives from its partner companies.
Lectures and presentations were divided into three areas namely business opportunities for farmers, sustainable farm tourism and disaster- resilient farming.
Pilmico Foods Corporation-Farm Sales Vice President Hendel Cabral talked on “Farmers as Entrepreneurs and Enablers of Local Pride; Salud on Industry Requirements; Air 21 President Rudy Fulo on logistics in agri- business, and Henry & Sons President Harris Conlin Lim on coffee industry.
BSU Institute of Highland Farming Systems and Agroforestry Director Valentino Macanes talked on Eco-tourism for Upland Farmers, Universal Harvester Inc. executive VP Dr. Milagros discussed family-farmer financial management, and Max’s Group, Inc. Director Jimmy F. Trota tackled food trends for farmers.
Panahon TV Executive Producer Donna May Lina also talked about weather, climate, and disaster risk-reduction information for supply chain solutions that support highland agriculture. (JPD)