Senator Cynthia Villar has underscored the ‘big potential’ in combining agriculture and tourism to help improve the lives of our farmers and fisherfolks.
Villar assured to strengthen the training and education under the Farm Tourism Development Law since the Agricultural Training Institute and TESDA shall encourage farm tourism camps to become learning sites and accredited extension service providers.
The veteran lawmaker said TESDA shall accredit farm tourism camps as technical vocational institutions for agriculture and tourism.
“So I am encouraging farm owners to make their farms farm schools, learning sites or training centers. The establishment of farm schools in every town is also supported by TESDA,” said the seasoned lawmaker in her speech during the Bulacan Business Conference 2017 held in Malolos, Bulacan.
The lady senator said the Farm Tourism Development Law also seeks “to promote environment-friendly, efficient and sustainable farm practices”.
Furthermore, she acknowledged that increasing food production and farm productivity alone cannot move them permanently out of poverty.
“We must also teach small farmers capacity-building strategies and approaches to get them to operate their small farms as agri-businesses and to make them competent and competitive in it. We need to make entrepreneurs out of farmers,” said Villar.
Based on studies, she said, among the barriers that keep Filipino farmers from being more successful are the lack of technical expertise, inadequate access to socialized credit, and lack of mechanization and financial literacy or business sense.
“We need to focus on removing these barriers,” said Villar as she related that this is what she has been doing in her personal capacity and through legislations.