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ATI XI Validates Potential Agritourism Site
In a remote area in Davao del Norte situated an agriculture based tourist destination established through the roots of passion of a farmer-entrepreneur, Mr. Rolando Manching.
“My love in farming and my desire to provide job opportunities to the people around the barangay and nearby areas encouraged me to build this place three years ago,” the 56 year old farmer said.
In 2013, the Kapalong Woodland Resort (KWR) was frequently visited for its kiddie and adult swimming pools and zipline, fit for family and friends’ getaways. Meetings and gatherings are also held in the spacious cottages and session halls. In 2014, the call for social responsibility encouraged them to expand and re-launched the site with its new name “KWR Permaculture”.
The approximately 3.3 hectare farm land engages in diversified organic farming system with the main activities focus on livestock production and aquaculture. Perennial plants such as dragon fruit and lemon are also showcased through the use of containers.
Without much knowledge in agriculture, Mr. Maching who is tagged as “do-it-yourself” farmer acquired farming techniques from research and best practices of other farms he toured.
From his initiative, he developed his own concoctions to prevent the stinking odor from his piggery and grew azolla as natural feeds and fertilizer to his crops and livestock, among others.
To attract more of public appreciation, the farm entered into value adding enterprise like venturing into small production of coffee from the civet cat’s feces and malunggay powder products.
Just recently, the technical staff of Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) XI visited and recommended interventions that could be applied to Mr. Manching’s farm to further develop his farm and improve its profitability.
ATI XI Organic Agriculture Focal person Louie Benedict Gulfan said that Mr. Manching is potentially qualified to become an extension-service provider (ESP) because of his farm.
“Since we follow a ladderized approach to accredit potential partners in our extension and training services or ESP, the farm needs to become a Learning Site first,” Gulfan said.
The learning site operator will be equipped with the skill and training needed to become a certified trainer of organic agriculture which is a prime requirement of an ESP cooperator.
“Gusto nako gamiton akong retirement sa mga gimbuhaton nga maka benepisyo dili lang sa akong pamilya apan apil na usab ang ubang tawo (I want to spend my retirement on activities that would benefit not only my family but also the people in the community),” Maching said.
ATI looks forward to assisting the farm until formally recognized as an ESP and agritourism site and will be supported on its marketing and promotional aspects. Hence, it will also uplift the economic condition of the farm workers in the community.