Three farm areas eyed as potential agri-tourism sites
THREE farm areas in Pangasinan are being eyed as potential agri-tourism sites.
Department of Agriculture (DA) Undersecretary for High Value Crops and Rural Credit Evelyn Laviña recently visited the areas that produce calamansi, dragon fruit and sampaguita upon the invitation of Fourth District Rep. Christopher de Venecia.
Laviña toured the areas to identify possible interventions that the High Value Crops Program can provide to further promote high value crops farming and enterprise in the region and to discuss possible partnership of the farmers’ associations and owners with the DA.
Laviña and de Venecia toured the 6.5-hectare calamansi farm in Barangay Lekep-Butao in San Fabian and advised the farmer leaders in the area to form into association for a more cohesive interventions from the DA.
Laviña also recommended to the farmers to look into value-adding activities they can pursue to enhance their calamansi production into a more productive enterprise like the production of calamansi scented soap, mix of calamansi with other fruit juices, calamansi hair gel, among others.
Another promising agri-tourism site visited by Laviña was the Fortune Dragon Fruit Farm of Teddy Nuez in Barangay San Juan in San Jacinto. The 12-hectare farm filled with various high value crops, with dragon fruit as the main crop, is ideal for agri-tourism site with its production of high-end marketable crops such as mulberry, fig tree, cherry, passion fruit, guava and vanilla, among others.
The farm was established in 2014 in collaboration with Ilocos region’s ‘Dragon Fruit Lady’.
Laviña also led the technical briefing and turnover ceremony of DA’s interventions for Urban Agriculture Project and interacted with the Baritao Sampaguita Farmers group for further enhancement of sampaguita farming in Baritao, Manaoag.
Laviña, upon the request of Engr. Arnold Raul Geronimo, Municipal Agriculturist of Manaoag, committed to allocate funds for the conduct of research study to identify quality sampaguita planting materials that would be suitable for production in the area with the help of the Bureau of Agricultural Research in partnership with agricultural state universities like the Pangasinan State University.
Geronimo also requested for the inclusion of sampaguita as one of the commodities to be insured by the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation and Laviña said she will look into it.
Meanwhile, de Venecia challenged the sampaguita farmers to create, innovate and try to come up with more sampaguita by-products. (Eva Visperas)
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