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‘Transform farms as learning, tourism sites’

ANGELES CITY, Pampanga—“Teach the young to farm. Make your farms attractive to local tourists.” 

That’s how Senator Cynthia A. Villar prodded Luzon-based farmers who finished the ‘Climate-Smart Farm Business School’ course administered by the Agricultural Training Institute, an agency attached to the Department of Agriculture.

Central Luzon agency heads joined Villar at the graduation ceremonies held at the Grace Crown hotel here on Friday. They were Regional Director Andrew A. Bido of Tesda, Regional Director Caroline Uy of the Department of Tourism, and Center Director Veronica CV. Esguerra of ATI, who served as the training manager.

Villar heads the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food. 

“Of course, we want you to earn some extra income while serving as learning sites. To maximize your time and effort, earn more when you get accredited as a farm tourism site by the DOT,” the senator added.

The 10-day training course is a module approved by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

“People in the concrete jungles of Metro Manila will find new attractive vacation destinations. The farm resorts and learning centers we have visited are great models,” said Denver Ordonio, a participating community organizer in Santa Fe, Nueva Vizcaya.

Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food chairperson Senator Cynthia A. Villar happily sends off 30 Luzon farmers who finished the Climate-Smart Farm Business School course of the DA-ATI. Abe Almirol
Thirty farmers who finished the course represented farms who are already ATI-accredited learning sites or still seeking accreditation, which are as follows: 

Zambawood-Julyan’s Pine Beach Farm (San Narciso, Zambales), Banares Farm (Orani, Bataan), Don Basilio Farm (Gerona, Tarlac), Tarlac Okra Growers PMPC (Tarlac City), St. John Regis Farm (Cabanatuan City), FDN Agri Eco Center (Palayan City), IGB’s Farm (General Tinio, Nueva Ecija), Myriad Farms (Triala, Guimba, Nueva Ecija), Santtoni Farms-Maria Lourdes Roque (Dona Remedios Trinidad, Bulacan), Our Farm Republic (Managtarem, Pangasinan), LGU Farm (San Felipe, Zambales), Atanacio Farm (Palayan City), and Tibby’s Farm (Angeles City, Pampanga) which are all found in Central Luzon.

Farms in other parts of Luzon include Vaughn’s Farm (Rosario, La Union), Malakas Farm (San Juan, Ilocos Sur), Pinakbet Farm (Caoayan, Ilocos Sur), ISPJ Farm (Sinait, Ilocos Sur), NORIPAI farms (Loo, Buguias, Benguet), Gateway Farm (Sante Fe, Nueva Vizcaya), Oikos Farm (Ilagan City, Isabela), Spring Mountain Farm (Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya), and Puputi Nature Farm (Pudtol, Apayao).

Andrew Tolentino, a principal of a DepEd elementary school in Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija, joined the training but he is working on a different goal. He wants to use public school grounds to teach children about farming as a real business. 

Villar encouraged the ‘Gulayan sa Paaralan’ concept.

Topics: Senator Cynthia A. Villar , Farmers , ‘Climate-Smart Farm Business School’ course , Agricultural Training Institute , Department of Agriculture
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