Since it started operating less than a year ago, the Yamang Bukid Farm has already welcomed thousands of local visitors and foreign tourists to its verdant arms.
Consequently, this originally-intended turmeric plantation has evolved and has been recognized by the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) as a model farm tourism destination that would also soon provide training for other farms aiming to be in the agritourism industry.
Republic Act No. 10816, or the Farm Tourism Development Act of 2016, defined farm tourism as the practice of attracting visitors and tourists to farm areas for production, educational, and recreational purposes.
It is a hybrid product that mixes agriculture and tourism, wherein a farm or ranch offers farm and nature experiences, making it a travel destination.
The Philippines, being an agricultural country, is one of the best nations where farm tourism industry could thrive and bloom, potentially gaining a higher percentage of tourists, given not only its white sand beaches and natural wonders but also its rising farm tourism destinations.
Dr. Mina Gabor, former tourism secretary and now the President of the International School for Sustainable Tourism (ISST) of the Philippines, said that farm tourism attracts visitors and travelers to farm areas, generally for educational and recreational purposes that encourage economic activity to provide farm and community income.
“It is one of the country’s sunshine industries which can be developed because of the agricultural nature of the economy,” Gabor noted.
Farmers are among the lowest income earners in the Philippines because of low labor productivity and wage rates, it is not surprising that poverty incidence is highest among farmers.
However, with the rise of farm tourism in the country, more farmers are provided with jobs and increased income.
In Yamang Bukid Farm, the lives of the farmers have changed drastically, since they are given a much more stable income.
Moreover, genuine appreciation coming from the farm management and the whole community has increased the morale of these beautiful, hardworking people.
At this point the Yamang Bukid Farm continues to upgrade its operation for the service of the community, always offering something new, catering to not only the locals of Puerto Princesa City but more and more domestic and international travelers.
There are more improvements in farm production being done, as well as better ways of doing things, improved physical structure, better customer service, and help for the community such as scholarships and assistance.
To further this progress, the Yamang Bukid Farm participated in the Farm Tourism Training 101, and just recently, in the Farm Tourism Training 102 in Silang, Cavite, represented by its reliable team composed of Kagawad Daniel Anjan, General Manager of Yamang Bukid Farm; Glam Roduta, the Admin. Manager of YB Farm; Marlon Guimba, the General Manager of YB Farm Restaurant, Josemar Manalo, Asst. Vice President for Finance of YB Healthy Products, Inc.; and Juliebert Goloran, Asst. General Manager for Sales and Marketing of YB Healthy Products, Inc.
They were also able to present the vision, mission, and programs of the Yamang Bukid Farm to other farms represented from all over the country.
Glam Roduta said, “Magiging learning site tayo for agriculture.’Yong iba’t ibang mga farms pwedeng pumunta sa atin for additional training on different aspects.”
She said that as soon as the Yamang Bukid Farm becomes an officially-accredited LSA or learning site for agriculture by the ATI, it will provide training for its many programs such organic farming, mushroom growing, marketing strategies, and more budding practices.
The future looks bright for Yamang Bukid Farm as it envisions to impact not only the province of Palawan but the whole country.
Roduta positively remarked that the vision is that, by 2024, the reach of the farm is not just provincial nor regional, but national in scale, as a provider for agricultural training.
Ignited to keep on doing business with a heart, Yamang Bukid aspires to share the know-how and effective strategies to other farms that are willing to learn and grow.
“Pwede nating iinvite yung mga iba’t ibang farms para magpunta dito, para makakuha rin sila ng mga information,” Roduta shared.
“Hindi lang ‘atin lang ito, atin lang ito’.” Yamang Bukid is aware that sooner or later, many farms would want to learn about farm tourism too, and it also delves into the idea of sharing the passion and burden for training others to fellow accredited farms within the community.
“Hindi lang tayo ang magbebenefit nito, kundi ang buong community. Kasi ang goal natin ay sustainability.” Roduta pointed out.
That is why there will be a training called “Crash Course on the Basics of Farm Tourism” on March 15, 2019, at the farm site.
It will be a whole day course that will cover the following topics: Opportunities in Farm Tourism, Asset: Location, Farm Stay, Best Practices (case study), and Farm Guiding Techniques.
Dr. Mina Gabor, along with other experts from the International School for Sustainable Tourism (ISST) will be the speakers on the event.
Yamang Bukid knows that farm tourism is sustainable development in action.
As it shares its beauty, and soon its expertise, the life of the nation could seriously be impacted because it is not just a mere farm or a tourist destination.
The Yamang Bukid is a farm tourism destination with a heart.