Villar launches 6th edition of Farm Tourism Book

Villar launches 6th edition of Farm Tourism Book

By Ernie Reyes

MANILA — In an effort to promote farm tourism and farm schools in the
country, Sen. Cynthia A. Villar, chairperson of the Senate Committee
on Agriculture, launched the 6th Edition of her Farm Tourism Book for
2021.

“The book, consisting of 2,805 listings, is a Directory of Farm
Schools, Tourism Farms, Learning Sites, and TESDA Agri Centers in the
Philippines. It contains in full color, photographs, and contact
details of these sites from all the country’s 17 regions,” said
Villar.

The directory also includes the classification of farm whether it’s
under rice, corn, coconut, organic crops, non-organic crops,
high-value organic crops, bamboo, livestock, poultry, dairy,
aquaculture, wild catch, and diversified. It also features a list of
TESDA- accredited courses on agriculture, which farm schools can teach
for free students and farmers.

A project of Villar SIPAG, the directory intends to further boost Farm
Tourism in the country. This will also serve as a guide to farm
enthusiasts, trainees, and tourists about farm destinations and
learning sites in the country.

“From a list of only 386 in its first edition, the number of farms
schools have reached over 2,367 in the fifth edition and now, we have
2,805 in the sixth edition,” noted Villar.

These included the four farm schools built by Villar SIPAG in Las
Pinas-Bacoor; San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan; San Miguel, Iloilo;
and Davao City.

“I continue to urge farmers to follow the example of others who have
since become more profitable after converting their farms into tourism
and learning sites. They have tripled their income sources—from their
crops or harvests, from tourists who visit their farms and from
trainees who enroll in training programs,” Villar said.

The senator is the principal author and sponsor of Republic Act No.
10816 or the Farm Tourism Development Act of 2016 that is widely
lauded and credited for strengthening agriculture-related tourism in
the country.

The said law paved the way for an increasing number of farmers, farm
owners and farming communities to enjoy the benefits of converting
their farms into farm tourism sites and farm schools.

“They have multiplied their earning sources–from their crops, from
the tourists’ who visit their farm and buy products as well as from
the tuition fees of the trainees in their farm schools being paid by
TESDA,” noted Villar.

The farm schools serve as learning sites for farmers and plant
enthusiasts who are given the opportunity to train for free on the
ways of modern farming.

Once accredited with Technical Education and Skills Development
Authority (TESDA) or by the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI),
Villar said a farm school can avail of government support and
scholarship grants as a learning site.

“Farm schools provide agriculture-related training to help remove the
barriers that prevent Filipino farmers from being competitive and
profitable, including the lack of technology, mechanization and
financial literacy, and knowledge in operating a farm as a business
and ability to access cheap credit,” said Villar.

“With these projects, we hope to make our agriculture more competitive
and profitable,” further stated Villar. (ai/mtvn)

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