Want to learn organic farming? Go to Palawan

Published: September 23, 2019 10:22am | PALAWAN


PUERTO PRINCESA CITY——This city’s emerging farm tourism destination is fast becoming an immersive site for learning organic and sustainable agriculture with the visits recently of farmers and experts who wanted to observe and learn from its agricultural practices.
Over a dozen agriculturists from the provinces of Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan spent three days at Yamang Bukid Farm-Palawan as part of their season-long training on good farming practices.

Agriculturists from the provinces of Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan pose with Bro. George Maria, vice president for community relations of Yamang Bukid Farm-Palawan (first row, extreme right) during their visit and exposure to organic farming practices of Puerto Princesa City's emerging farm tourism destination.
(Photos by Aris Leoven)

The visit on Tuesday was facilitated by the Department of Agriculture through its Agriculture Training Institute (DA-ATI).
The farming experts were toured to Yamang Bukid Farm’s 2-hectare main tourism area where they took part in planting lettuce on plots, observe huge pens of native chicken breeds like the Zampen (Zamboanga Peninsula) and interact with farmers as they go about with their different farming practices.

According to Cristina Gonda-Magnaye, ATI-Mimaropa extension services head, they were overwhelmed by what they saw at YBF.
“What we saw were beyond our expectations. The technology and good practices are there. The people, especially the farmers are warm and welcoming,” Magnaye said. Fernan Hubo, one of the farm’s agriculturists, said the visitors learned about the Farm’s sustainable agriculture practices such as inter-cropping, contouring and vegetable production.

The farming experts interacted with farmers as they work on the field and the two groups exchanged ideas on traditional and modern farming practices, said Liza Jean Yocte, another YBF agriculturist.
“They are able to adopt latest trends in (sustainable) agriculture such as making organic concoction as pesticides in lieu of commercial pest repellants. The farm is continuously developing techniques to make it sustainable,” said Jane Siscar, an agriculturist of the city government of Calapan, Oriental Mindoro. For Jocelyn Bernardo, another DA-ATI agriculturist, the experience was “very inspiring and worth sharing.”

“You will really love the experience of being in a rural farming place with people and farmers around who are accommodating and friendly,” said Bernardo.
During their stay at the farm, many of the guests turned emotional as they felt the genuine warmth and care of worker-farmers whom they had interacted with.
Karen Tulay, an agriculturist of DA-ATI said she was moved by the values espoused by the farmers and the way the farm management takes care of them.

“Technology can be transferred but the farm’s values cannot be quantified. Here at Yamang Bukid, I found my purpose as a public servant by the way they showed love and care to the farmers,” said Tulay, weeping openly before her fellow participants.

Roxanne Fadriquel, an agriculturist from Baco town, Oriental Mindoro, said her visit to the farm opened her heart and strengthened her resolve to help farmers in her community.
(JL)


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