Villar launches updated list of tourist farms, farm schools
Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) - July 5, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Cynthia Villar has launched the updated version of the directory which will guide farm enthusiasts, trainees and tourists about farm destinations and learning sites in the country.

The fifth edition of Directory of Farm Schools, Tourist Farms and Learning Sites in the Philippines has 466 pages and contains photographs and contact details of these sites from all the 17 regions in full color.

“This book is part of my efforts to promote farm tourism and the farm schools in our country. I continue to urge farmers to follow the example of others who have since become more profitable. 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,” the senator said.

Villar, who chairs the Senate committee on agriculture and food, principally authored Republic Act 10816 or the Farm Tourism Development Act of 2016, which paved the way for an increasing number of farmers, farm owners and farming communities to enjoy the benefits of converting their farms into tourist destinations.

The farm school directory also includes a listing of farms and its classification 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 Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)-accredited courses on agriculture, which farm schools can teach and students and farmers can avail of for free in accredited learning sites nearby.

The directory is a project of Villar SIPAG in partnership with the Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Training Institute, Philippine Rice Research Institute, Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization, Department of Agrarian Reform, TESDA, and Department of Tourism.

She also cited the increasing number of venues for agriculture-related training which helps remove the barriers that prevent Filipino farmers and fisher folk from being competitive and profitable, including the lack of technology, mechanization and financial literacy, and inability to access cheap credit.

From a list of about 386 in the first edition, the directory now lists more than 2,500 farms, including the four farm schools established by Villar SIPAG in Las Pinas-Bacoor; San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan; San Miguel, Iloilo; and Davao City.

CYNTHIA VILLAR
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