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Edible plants planted by farmers at Milea Bee Farm. | Photo by Mariano Sayno, an award-winning travel photographer.

CALAMBA, Laguna—The emerging interest in agri-tourism among farmers and fisherfolks in the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon was clearly evident in the Farm Tourism Development Media Tour. Twelve farm tourism sites were visited to showcase their specialties in agri-tourism, which strengthened the agriculture and tourism industry as part of their local economic promotion.

The familiarization tour conducted by the Department of Tourism-Region IV-A, in coordination with Juan Pasyalan Travel and Tours on last December 2018, was attended by guests from the Federation of Philippine Photographers Foundation, Association of Travel and Tours Agencies CALABARZON, and friends from media. Rolled for the first time, the tour aims to achieve tourism growth in the regions promoting agri-tourism development and to help improve the lives of the farmers and fisherfolks by advancing environment-friendly, efficient, and sustainable farm practices.

As part of the increasing tourist promotion program for the farm, farm tourism owners and fisherfolks engage visitors and tourists to experience farm life by providing services, including, but not limited to, educational and recreational tours, farm training development, and other farm-related outdoor activities while also catering as a venue for leisure and vacations.

Some of the activities offered include fruit-picking, vegetable-and-fruit-harvesting, organic farming, touring, farm-to-table dining, seminars and workshops, sightseeing, various farming techniques, retreats, and staycations, among others.

Costales Nature Farm is the first agri-tourism destination recognized and accredited by the Department of Tourism for offering farm experience and nothing but delicious, organic food. Known for its organic produce, it has become a go-to getaway for those who want to learn organic farming and other farming techniques. Costales Nature Farm gives aspiring agri-tourism farmers extensive consultation and training.

While most, if not all, farm tourism sites concentrate on farming, Milea Bee Farm focuses on beekeeping. They give beekeeping seminars and workshops, provide farm tours, cook farm-to-table organic food, and sell products that are made from bees, such as pure honey, skin care products, bath products, cosmetics, and beeswax to gain profitability. In addition, Milea Bee Farm has beekeeping supplies, gives bee inspections, and offers bee colony relocation services.

Being the first farm tourism site accredited by the Department of Tourism in the province of Cavite, Terra Verde Eco Farm started as a small private farm that has evolved into a 30-hectare landscape. The farm is a great place to relax because the whole place can be reserved for a private group, allowing an eco-tour with the group alone. With its affordable price and proximity to Manila, being a two-hour drive away, Terra Verde Eco Farm will give respite to the soul for those who live in the nearby cement jungle.

Other participating farm tourism sites included Flor’s Garden, Graco Farm, Forest Wood Garden, Uma Verde Eco, Gintong Bukid Farm and Leisure, Taal Maranans, Gorgeous Farm, Nurture Wellness Farm, and Teofely’s Farm.

Agri-tourism makes a significant contribution not only in agriculture but also in tourism for Region IV-A. Moreover, agri-tourism creates a wide array of business opportunities for farmers (DOT FB)

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