Farm Tourism Industry in the Philippines Showcased at ASEAN Farmers' Week

ASEAN farmer-leaders and agri extension officials learn more about Filipino farming during their visit at Kahariam Farms.

MANILA, Philippines – The Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) showcased the country's farm tourism industry during the recently concluded ASEAN Farmers' Week.

The event was the Philippines’ commitment to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) efforts to stimulate economic growth, increase jobs, and reduce poverty through the agriculture sector’s human capital development.

With the theme “Unity in Diversity for a Sustainable Agriculture in ASEAN”, the occasion served as an opportunity for the country to showcase its experiences on farm tourism industry, highlighting success stories and best practices of Filipino farmers.

In the training course held in line with the celebration, ATI Director Asterio Saliot warmly welcomed 21 farmer-leaders and agricultural extension officials from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. He remarked that the said activity is an opportunity for farmers and agricultural extension officials in the ASEAN member states to interact with one another and exchange experiences and achievements in their respective farms.

The participants then presented their respective country papers which gave an overview of the participants’ profiles, their country’s Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), farm tourism industry, current agricultural and tourism policies and infrastructures, as well as the sector’s challenges and opportunities with their corresponding recommendations.

Duran Farm Agribusiness and Training Center Association Inc. owner Desiree Duran also shared the story of her success as a farmer and entrepreneur from being a street food vendor. Meanwhile, Architect Michael Andrew Peñalosa, Manager of Peñalosa Farms, discussed the concept of “Agritecture” — the fusion of architecture and agriculture.

The participants were also able to visit the Costales Nature Farms, Inc. (CNF) in Majayjay, Laguna and the Kahariam Realty and Farms in Lipa, Batangas. They were briefed on the “Development of a Farm Tourism Enterprise: The Case of Costales Nature Farms, Inc.” by Ronald Costales, co-founder of CNF and on the “Best Practices in Farm Tourism: Kahariam Realty and Farms” by Danilo Rubio, Kahariam Farm Manager, respectively.

The ASEAN Farmers’ Week was held last November 8 to 14, 2015 in Manila with field visits in Laguna and Batangas.