FARM tourism will soon resume in select areas in the country in an effort to help the industry recover from the effects of COVID-19 pandemic that badly hit the tourism sector.
This, as the Department of Tourism (DOT) said it will team up with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to promote farm tourism.
The partnership with FAO, the United Nations agency that leads efforts to achieve food security and fight world hunger and malnutrition, will launch a program to make farm tourism in select areas of the country more sustainable and adaptable.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat yesterday said the DOT team will meet with the FAO this month to finalize details of the program.
“By working with FAO, the DOT aims to link farm tourism to sustainable agricultural practices. The objective is to equip our farm workers and fisherfolk with the skills and infrastructure support they need to survive these hard times,” said Puyat.
Farm tourism is a concept which combines tourism and agriculture by drawing visitors to the farms to experience unique agriculture activities like harvesting agricultural produce, feeding and raising animals, fishing, camping, hiking and even sampling local cuisine.
Puyat added that in spite of the pandemic, farm tourism is an “important pillar for employment” and still holds huge potentials to provide food sufficiency and additional income for farmers and fisherfolk.
The three-year pilot program stipulated in the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the DOT and FAO, will have three areas of focus. They are:
Enhancing complementation between tourism and agricultural programming in the country;
The provision of technical support on capacity building, research and development, marketing and advocacy, and technological development to promote farm tourism development; and
The conduct of pilot activities in select farm tourism sites.
“This partnership with the DOT will truly ignite the development and the recovery of the tourism and agriculture sectors in the Philippines, which were both heavily devastated by the prevailing pandemic,” said Ms. Xiangjun Yao, interim representative of FAO to the Philippines.
Puyat and Yao signed the MoU during the first National Farm Tourism Online Summit on June 16, 2020.