Coffee farm emerges as new tourist magnet
Ehda M. Dagooc (The Freeman) - March 10, 2017 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The 2,000 hectare coffee farm in the municipality of Tuburan, in the northwestern coast of Cebu island, is now gaining ground as a tourist attraction, said its mayor Aljun Diamante.

Diamante said to maximize this newfound tourism potential of the municipality, they are now building cottages and improving the accommodation facilities in Tuburan. He added that he is also coordinating with the Department of Tourism and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to fix the road going to the coffee farm.

Managed by the Kabangkalan Agro Forestry Farmers Association Association Multipurpose Cooperative (KAFAMCO), the coffee farm is aimed at not merely to provide livelihood to over a thousand coffee farmers but also to promote Tuburan’s eco-tourism niche.

The farm alone has the capacity to produce P4.3 million kilos of coffee beans a year, which if roasted and sold at the prevailing price of P600 per kilo, the farm could earn over P2 billion annually.

Aside from this earning, the farmers can also make money out of tourism.

In a separate interview with coffee expert Erik Lim he said that since coffee farmers only earn on seasonal basis, they should be given alternative livelihood by turning their farms into tourism destinations.

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 into a tourism spot, 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 income issues of the farmers.

Record shows that the local coffee industry currently employs at least 200,000 Filipinos, which means if the tourism aspect will be pushed, it would translate to more jobs for more people.

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.

Diamante said this plan of making the farm another attraction to tourists, will also boost the tourism industry in Tuburan, which boasts of its several eco-tourism destinations, like Adela River Eco Tourism Adventure, Molobolo Nature Spring and Tourism Resort, among others.

At present, the town's economy is driven largely by agriculture and fishery industries. (BANAT NEWS)

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