Group to set up enchanted farm in Cebu
Ehda Dagooc (The Freeman) - February 27, 2015 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The Network of Independent Travel Agencies (NITAs) is eyeing a six-hectare property in Cebu as location for its planned  enchanted farm project.

NITAs chairman Bobby Lim Joseph said that his group is currently working with Gawad Kalinga to set up a total of 28 enchanted farm facilities across the country with  Cebu as one of the priority locations.

According to Joseph, NITAs and Gawad Kalinga will be coordinating closely with the Cebu Provincial Government through vice governor Agnes Magpale to pursue this  project. The province may either  donate the land or enter into a partnership deal with Gawad Kalinga.

The establishment of an enchanted farm  throughout the Philippines is expected to boost the promotion of social tourism, wherein a community will be trained to capitalize on tourism and becoming entrepreneurs.

Enchanted farms serve as incubation facility for farmers to create and market their own product, and eventually become part of social entrepreneurism.

Gawad Kalinga has already one such farm operating in Angat, Bulacan. The GK Enchanted Farm is Gawad Kalinga’s platform to raise social entrepreneurs, help local farmers and create wealth in the countryside.  The farm accepts walk-in or stay-in visitors. While in the farm, visitors can have a walking tour, attend social enterprise demos and hands-on trial, or engage in farming activities. True to its name, the farm enchants  visitors with stories not only of successful enterprise but also of concrete acts of caring and sharing.

Seeing the importance and benefits of this undertaking to the country’s tourism efforts, Joseph and the rest of the membership of NITAs have decided to join  hands with GK in establishing more enchanted farms, and promote these to the international market. Joseph’s other group, the SKAL International, will also help in promoting the enchanted farms.

In Cebu, NITAs will help coordinate with the provincial government for land sponsorship or partnership  in order to accelerate the establishment of the farm.

Joseph said this kind of facility will not only encourage the growth of social entrepreneurship in the country but will also lure immersion travels most notably foreign students who want to experience the locals’ way of life, or try their hand at starting their own business.

Already, a growing number of European tourists, especially French and British  are travelling to the Philippines to explore and help charity groups like Gawad Kalinga  in alleviating poverty in the countryside, as well as teaching the locals  to become entrepreneurs, Joseph  said. (FREEMAN)

AGNES MAGPALE BOBBY LIM JOSEPH CEBU CEBU PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT ENCHANTED ENCHANTED FARM FARM FRENCH AND BRITISH GAWAD KALINGA IN CEBU
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