Tuesday, September 19, 2017

DOT Region X Director Unchuan Visits Iligan Agritourism Farm

(Wednesday, 21st day of June 2017)

 

ILIGAN CITY — “This is not a new concept, in fact we already have similar farms in the Luzon area, even in the Visayas region, we have the Bee Farm,” said The Department of Tourism Region X (Northern Mindanao) Director Marie Elaine Salvana-Unchuan. “The president gives emphasis on Agritourism Farm because aside from the fact that it contributes to our food security it is also an income opportunity,” she added. Director Unchuan visited Iligan City on June 19 to survey potential farms for development and for tourism sites.

Agritourism is basically where agriculture and tourism intersect.  Farms and ranches invite the public to experience the outdoors, the leisure pace, and the healthy and nutritious produce which is only possible when it is fresh-picked at the peak of perfection. Agritourism is one of the fastest growing segments of the travel industry. It includes visits to working farms, ranches, wineries and agricultural industries. Agri-destinations offer a huge variety of entertainment, education, relaxation, outdoor adventures, shopping and dining experiences (http://www.eckertagrimarketing.com/eckert-agritourism-what-is-agritourism.php).

Agritourism is not new here in the Philippines, but it is only recently that it is given the highlighting it well deserves. According to Dir. Unchuan, Sen. Cynthia Villar, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, played a significant role on this project, together with the LGU’s.

One of the potential farms visited in Iligan City is the three-hectare Venida Farm, located in Purok 4, Mimbalot, Buru-un, Iligan City. The said farm is owned by Mr. Roger Lacida. This farm is recently opened and is applying for accreditation to become an Agriculture Learning Center where interested members of the community can get lectures from experienced organic agriculture practitioners and get first-hand interaction with the farming environment. This farm is already producing local produce such as: wild honey, coconut honey, a variety of vinegars, and even wine. “I have no agricultural background, whatsoever, but I made these things possible through passion and determination,” said Mr. Lacida in a briefing before a tour at the farm. The said farm also has pigs, different breeds of chicken, ducks, turkeys, goats, and about two types of fish, all fed with organic feeds and mashes.  They also have plantations for Dragon Fruit, Pomegranate, Cranberries and a whole lot of floras.

Projects like this is a win-win situation and is like hitting two (even more) birds with one stone. It develops farms, produce products, generate income, educate the community; the benefits are just endless.

The crisis Mindanao is now facing does not hinder the City Tourism Office as its Senior Tourism Operations Officer, Ms. Donna Belle G. Olado, welcomed the guests and enthusiastically spearheaded the tour.

 

– –  Kristoff S. – WEB/CIO

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Dragon Fruit plantation

Man made fish pond for fish culture (Tilapia and Pangasius)

Mallard ducks raised in large pens at the farm

All smiles, Ms. Marie Elaine S. Unchuan enjoys a glass of Blue Ternate Juice with Mr. Roger Lacida

(from left) Ms. Marie Elaine S. Unchuan , Mr. Roger Lacida, Ms. Donna Belle Olado pose in front of Cranberry shrubs planted at the Venida farm

Ms. Donna Belle Olado, Senior Tourism Operations Officer, takes a sip of the 100% organic fresh Blue Ternate juice