Sen­a­tor: Devel­op­ment Act to help tourism, agri­cul­ture

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - Business -

THE re­cently passed Farm Tourism Devel­op­ment Act of 2016 (Repub­lic Act or RA 10816) is seen as a way to val­ueadd farm­ers’ in­come and con­trib­ute to lo­cal tourism sec­tor.

Cyn­thia Vil­lar, Com­mit­tee on Agri­cul­ture and Food se­nate chair­per­son, un­der­scored the im­por­tance of pro­duc­tiv­ity among farm­ers in or­der to strengthen the coun­try’s agri­cul­tural sec­tor.

Vil­lar said dur­ing the 1st Man­u­fac­tur­ers’ Fo­rum by the Min­danao Agri­cul­tural Ma­chin­ery In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion that the pas­sage of the tourism devel­op­ment act will en­cour­age farm­ers to be­come in­no­va­tive in hav­ing po­ten­tial tourists visit their re­spec­tive farms, and pro­vide them with agri­cul­tural prod­ucts farm­ers yield.

The law aims “to max­i­mize the ben­e­fits that can be de­rived from agri­cul­ture and tourism com­bined” and “for the en­cour­age­ment, devel­op­ment and pro­mo­tion of farm tourism in the coun­try.”

The sen­a­tor said the law en­cour­ages farm­ers to use at least a hectare of their farm­lands to be con­verted into a tourism site.

“May restau­rant yun, may pasalubong cen­ter, at pwede ring magka­roon ng home­s­tay (There’s are restau­rant, a paslubong cen­ter, and even a home­s­tay ac­com­mo­da­tion place in the farm tourism site),” Vil­lar said, adding this can help farm­ers also con­trib­ute in se­cur­ing an eco­log­i­cally sound en­vi­ron­ment by mak­ing sure agri­cul­tural lands are not con­verted into in­fras­truc­tural sites.

She added farm tourist sites can also be turned into farm schools in or­der to of­fer agri­cul­tural tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance to the com­mu­nity

“And if you turn it into a farm school with Tesda’s (Tech­ni­cal Ed­u­ca­tion and Skills Devel­op­ment Au­thor­ity) ac­cred­i­ta­tion, Tesda will pay for the tu­ition of all the stu­dents study­ing in the farm school,” Vil­lar said.

Vil­lar added the farm school is a good place to also pro­mote mech­a­niza­tion among farm­ers in or­der to in­crease pro­duc­tiv­ity. (SunS­tar Philip­pines)

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