Yamang Bukid Farm will represent the Philippines in an international young leaders’ workshop on agriculture in Laos next month.
Hope Alas, Yamang Bukid Farm Palawan vice president for tourism, is among the six Filipinos participating in the YSEALI Agri-Business Incubator Workshop in the southwestern Laotian province of Champasak.
Funded by the US State Department, the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) seeks to engage with emerging young leaders in ASEAN who could cooperate across borders to solve common problems in agriculture, among others.
The five-day workshop which starts March 2 will gather 50 young leaders from the 10-member Asean states and Timor-Leste focused on identifying and developing sustainable agri-business opportunities in the region.
“The incubator-style workshop will teach participants how to apply Design Thinking, Lean Startup methodologies, and disciplined entrepreneurship through rigorous evidence-based, action-oriented learning to help them recognize opportunities and learn how to build sustainable enterprises that can deliver innovative value in the agriculture sector,” the Yseali said on its website.
This event, according to Alas will be an opportunity to showcase not only Yamang Bukid Farm but the province of Palawan as well as the entire Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan) region.
“I’m grateful for getting in this fellowship. It will give me an opportunity and a wider audience to share about agri-tourism and how we do it here in Yamang Bukid,” said the 27-year old former instructor at Palawan State University.
In her nearly a year with Yamang Bukid Farm, Alas said she realized that “farming is never easy and we should highly value them.”
“I value my food more because I now realize the huge sacrifices our farmers are doing to produce the food that I eat,” she said.
“I’m more fueled to work harder and advocate more on helping the farmers in our country,” she added.
Alas has been known as among the faces of the sprawling farm tourism destination in Barangay Bacungan, among Palawan’s most-visited.
The former educator who now considers herself a farmer is Yamang Bukid Farm’s chief advocate, especially on the Farm’s efforts on sustainable agriculture and biodiversity protection and conservation.
“Without agriculture, tourism is also nothing. One of the reasons why people visit places is about food, specialty delicacies and like that. That’s agriculture,” Alas stressed.
“If there’s no agriculture when you visit an area, you have nothing to eat. Tourism is therefore affected. Tourism and agriculture are a team,” she added.
The amiable farm tourism advocate is among the principal movers of various advocacy campaigns by Yamang Bukid Farm, including last year’s Subaraw Biodiversity Festival in which the Farm bagged the grand prize of the float parade.
Alas also spearheaded the holding of various campaigns for the benefit of farmers and the environment.