Press Release
July 19, 2016

Villar urges establishment of one farm tourism camp in every province

Sen. Cynthia Villar urged the formation of farm tourism camps all over the country to serve as venues of learning for farmers and fishermen.

"These farm tourism camps, aside from offering recreational activities, can also double as farm schools and offer training courses on modern farming methods, financial literacy and other related topics," Villar said.

Villar, chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, said the Department of Tourism and the Department of Agriculture (DA), as stated in Section 11 of Republic Act No. 10816 or the Farm Tourism Act, were tasked to lead in the establishment of at least one farm tourism camp in every province in the country.

The Agriculture Training Institute was tasked to encourage farm tourism camps to become learning sites and accredited extension service providers, while the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority was given the authority to accredit farm tourism camps as technical vocational institutions for agriculture and tourism courses.

The law also tasked the Philippine Information Agency to launch and pursue a nationwide campaign to promote farm tourism and accredited farm tourism camps.

The Nacionalista Party senator cited her own experience in running the Villar SIPAG (Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance) Farm School located in the boundary of Las Pinas and Bacoor, Cavite. In partnership with DA and private organizations such as SM Foundation, Harbest, Allied Botanicals, and East West, agriculture courses were offered in the farm school and benefitted farmers in nearby areas.

"Our farm school offers farmers and aspiring farmers free hands-on training on a number of courses, such as vegetable farming, mushroom production, livestock production, and beekeeping. We are also helping them in marketing their produce to consumers," Villar said.

"Being an agricultural country, it will be easy to find a farm and to develop as a farm school," she added.

Villar said the Farm Tourism Act, which she authored, provided for incentives to farm tourism operators such as increased access to credit from government financial institutions, government-owned or controlled corporations, private banks, financial cooperatives and other lending institutions.

The Department of Trade and Industry Bureau of Small and Medium Enterprise Development and the Bureau of Domestic Trade Promotion and the DA - Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service will be responsible in assisting operators and practitioners in the marketing and distribution of their products, and link them with consumers' cooperatives and organizations, and retailers.

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