Ne­gocc or­ganic tech cen­ter gets farm tourism ac­cred­i­ta­tion

Sun Star Bacolod - - Business - BY ER­WIN P. NICAVERA

THE Depart­ment of Tourism (DOT) in Western Visayas has ac­cred­ited the Ne­gros First Or­ganic Tech­nol­ogy Cen­ter (NFOTEC) as the first gov­ern­ment-run farm tourism site in the prov­ince.

Gover­nor Eu­ge­nio Jose Lac­son along with Pro­vin­cial Agri­cul­tur­ist Japhet Mas­culino, Pro­vin­cial Su­per­vis­ing Tourism Op­er­a­tions Of­fi­cer Cris­tine Mansinares and other pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials re­ceived the copy of the ac­cred­i­ta­tion from Dot-western Visayas Re­gional Ad­min­is­tra­tive Of­fi­cer Artemio Ticar, des­ig­nated tourism area devel­op­ment head for Ne­gros Oc­ci­den­tal, at the Pro­vin­cial Capi­tol in Bacolod City yes­ter­day.

The ac­cred­i­ta­tion valid un­til July 2021 is pur­suant to the pro­vi­sions of Repub­lic Act 9593, or the Tourism Act of 2009.

Mas­culino said the NFOTEC was able to com­ply with the re­quire­ments and stan­dards set by the DOT for an agricultur­e or farm tourism site.

The ac­cred­i­ta­tion will en­able the fa­cil­ity to be in­cluded in the pro­grams of the agency, es­pe­cially pro­mo­tions, Mas­culino said.

“It can now cater to tourists who would like to visit and learn the tech­nol­ogy and prac­tices there,” he said, adding that the ac­cred­i­ta­tion will also en­hance its sta­tus as an or­ganic cen­ter.

Opened in Jan­uary last year, the NFOTEC sit­u­ated near the Ne­gros First Rice Pro­cess­ing Cen­ter at Barangay Tabunan in Bago City was po­si­tioned to fur­ther boost or­ganic pro­duc­the tion in the prov­ince.

The P3 mil­lion worth of pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment-run fa­cil­ity also serves as pro­duc­tion area for var­i­ous or­ganic com­modi­ties in­clud­ing crops, and poul­try and live­stock an­i­mals.

These crops and com­modi­ties in­clude or­ganic rice, veg­eta­bles, free-range chicken, and black pig, among others.

The pro­vin­cial agri­cul­tur­ists, ear­lier, said aside from em­pow­er­ing ex­ist­ing or­ganic prac­ti­tion­ers, the tech­nol­ogy cen­ter is also help­ing the prov­ince to en­cour­age fu­ture or­ganic farm­ing ad­vo­cates.

Dot-western Visayas records showed that there are cur­rently 30 ac­cred­ited farm tourism sites in the region. Of which, most are in Ne­gros Oc­ci­den­tal, a to­tal of 15.

Mansinares said as an ac­cred­ited farm tourism site, the NFOTEC can ac­com­mo­date not only those who want to learn but also those want­ing to un­wind or be en­ter­tained.

“The farm is not only an area for pro­duc­tion, it also pro­vides re­lax­ation to the vis­i­tors through var­i­ous tourism-re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties,” she added.

For Lac­son, on the other hand, the ob­jec­tive of the fa­cil­ity was re­ally to help farm­ers. But, it’s good that it is also help­ing pro­mote tourism.*

CAPI­TOL / RICHARD MALIHAN PHOTO

NE­GROS Oc­ci­den­tal Gover­nor Eu­ge­nio Jose Lac­son (left) re­ceives the copy of the ac­cred­i­ta­tion from Dot-western Visayas Re­gional Ad­min­is­tra­tive Of­fi­cer Artemio Ticar (cen­ter) for the Ne­gros First Or­ganic Tech­nol­ogy Cen­ter as a farm tourism site at the Pro­vin­cial Capi­tol in Bacolod City yes­ter­day. Also in photo, Pro­vin­cial Agri­cul­tur­ist Japhet Mas­culino.

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