Stressing that farm tourism and farm schools help augment the income of farmers and boost the country’s agriculture, Sen. Cynthia A. Villar said these are among the reasons why she authored the Farm Tourism Development Law or Republic Act 10816.
Villar, the chairperson of the Senate committee on agriculture and food, noted that this law paved the way for an increasing number of farmers, farm owners, and farming communities and enjoying the benefits of converting their farms into farm tourist sites and farm schools or learning sites.
“It multiplies the earning potential of farmers- from their crops, from the tourists who visit their farm and buy their produce or products, and from the tuition fees of the trainees in their farm schools,” Viilar said.
During a visit to Oblate Galilee Farm Malangag, in Antipas, Cotabato, Villar said she shares the goal of its founder, Father Yves Caroff-to develop “communities of poor farmers who constitute one of the poorest and most neglected social groups in the country”.
“And he helped them “rise from poverty and hands-on agricultural education became the means he has employed”.That is why I am an avid supporter of providing agricultural training through farm schools and learning sites,” Villar said.
The visit to the Oblate Galilee Farm with the local and provincial government officials and officers of the Together Ensemble Foundation and French Ambassador Michele Boccoz, Villar emphasized, is indeed one great way to mark the 30th Anniversary of the Together Ensemble Foundation and the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Philippines and the France.
The senator also said she is happy that the Oblate Galilee Farm is on its way to be among the TESDA- accredited farm schools.
“Oblate Galilee Farm is a very good example of how a vision of one man can impact the lives of so many families and communities when dedicated and committed individuals and organizations come together and extend help,” she said.
She said the increasing number of venues for agriculture-related training helps remove the barriers that prevent Filipino farmers and fisherfolks from being competitive and profitable.
She also acknowledged that Hubert d’Aboville Together Ensemble also shared and supported Father Yves even back in the 1990s when he first visited Galilée Farm