Freeman Cebu Business

Coffee farmers told to turn farms into tourist destination

Ehda Dagooc - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Aside from generating livelihood from coffee, farmers are encouraged to start a year-round livelihood source by turning their farms into tourism destinations.

Coffee expert Erik Lim sees a good potential for coffee farmers around the country to inject tourism flavors to their coffee plantation, as ecotourism related itineraries are becoming more in demand these days.

Lim believes that if farming will be incorporated with tourism farmers will be given the opportunity to earn more, thereby uplift their daily income.

While most farmers do not have enough capital to transform their farms as tourism destination alternative, this concept may also be a good business opportunity for capitalists.

Lim, who is one of the only four coffee connoisseurs in the Philippines, said  that adding tourism facilities to an existing coffee plantation could address the income issues of farmers.

Record shows that local coffee industry currently employs at least 200,000 Filipinos, if this concept will be implemented more people will be able to be employed.

While the Department of Agriculture (DA) had been announcing its support to boost the coffee farming sector in the Philippines, the Department of Tourism (DOT) on the other hand is intensifying its program to expand community tourism.

In Central Visayas for instance, DOT-7 regional director Rowena Montecillo said her agency will closely coordinate with local government units (LGUs) in the region so that eco-tourism will hit its potential.

Although community tourism trainings had been started, Montecillo said there is a need to intensify the program, as eco-tourism related tours are now becoming more in demand from both domestic and foreign markets.

Montecillo said one of the goals is to encourage tourists to stay longer in a community destination, thereby boosting tourism related businesses, including possibility of home-stay.

Destination farms is part of the DOT's community tourism development program. (FREEMAN)


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