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Agritourism seen to propel Asturias economic recovery
Asturias Mayor Jose Antonio Pintor said the town has been investing on infrastructure particularly farm-to-road projects to make it easier for farmers to transport their goods, while drafting more programs to boost the town’s livelihood related to corn production.
Ehda M. Dagooc

Agritourism seen to propel Asturias economic recovery

Ehda M. Dagooc (The Freeman) - May 10, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  Agritourism is seen to push the economic recovery of the town of Asturias, in the northwestern part of Cebu province.

Asturias Mayor Jose Antonio Pintor made this announcement over the weekend during the opening of the town’s corn mill plant.

In an interview with Pintor, he said that the municipality is initially increasing the production of its corn products (both yellow and white corn) among other crops. At the same time attract more tourists and investors in agriculture and tourism.

According to Pintor the town has been investing on infrastructure particularly farm-to-road projects to make it easier for farmers to transport their goods,while drafting more programs to boost the town’s livelihood related to corn production.

With 50 thousand population in 27 barangays, Pintor noted growing interest for farm and tourism investment, reinforcing the town’s positioning to capture good revenue stream in agri-tourism sector.

Asturias’ sprawling fertile land makes it ideal for yellow corn production. At present, the town has about 200 hectares dedicated for corn plantation.

Aside from encouraging farmers to plant more corn, the town is also attracting capitalists for corn processing plants to improve residents’ livelihood and corn product market.

Asturias is the biggest corn producer in Central Visayas.

Cebu Provincial Agriculturist Dr. Roldan Saragena, earlier shared that in 2021, the provincial government has allocated a budget of P15 billion for the ECD program. Of that, at least P28 million is already allocated for investment of four yellow corn post-harvest facilities that will be located in strategic areas in Cebu including Bantayan Island, Camotes Island.

Likewise, Asturias is also attracting poultry operators. In fact, there are 25 applications pending for approval, and 17 poultry facilities currently operating.

In tourism, Pintor sees good interest for tourism-related investment, specifically establishments of new beach and farm resorts and other nature-based attractions.

Virginia Farms Inc., is currently developing a beach resort facility in Sitio Looc Sur, Barangay Poblacion, Asturias, he said.

The Mayor said Asturias wants to get ahead in capturing the returning tourists especially Filipinos who are now starting to travel within domestic destination.

He reiterated the town’s showcase in marine tourism cruise, which initially has three spots—the Coral Garden in Barangay Owak, the heritage sites in Barangay Looc which are the sea markers Balisang Taas and Balisang Pungkol, and the old mangrove species present in Barangays San Roque and Langub.

For the dolphin watching, tourists will be taken to the Tañon Strait where the dolphins feed in groups.

Asturias has the biggest lake in Cebu that transcends two barangays called Buswang Lake in Barangay Bago and Sta. Rita.

Likewise, the local government has installed boardwalks in the area with plans to set up ziplines and other activities in the area to attract the adventurous tourists.

Aside from the lake, Asturias is also blessed with caves and natural springs including a hot spring in Barangay San Roque.

The Mayor vowed to add more attractions in the coming months, as investors are also expressing their interest to develop not just resorts but other ecotourism related facilities.

AGRITOURISM
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