YB partners with DA for
'farm entrepreneurship'

Published: June 5, 2019 08:00am | Puerto Prinsesa


Yamang Bukid Farm (YBF) has partnered with the Department of Agriculture (FA) to elevate farming and agro-tourism in the country by teaching farmers a better, science-based, alternative approach and perspective in growing crops, and by encouraging the younger generation to get more involved in agriculture.

Agriculturist Flor Ilao of the DA's Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) said the agency decided to award YB with an accreditation because of the company's desire to help the government turn farmers from regular crop growers to "farmer entrepreneurs."

DA's senior agriculturist Norberto C. Maur said the ATI and YB aim to introduce programs about new modalities in agricultural extension in which regular farmers are molded to become farm entrepreneurs and businessmen promoting not only farming but also farm tourism.

Through the YB's Training Center, farmers are also trained to shift from monoculture to diversified or integrated farming.

Hezir Rabaya, YB farm production manager, expressed delight over the accreditation that Yamang Bukid received from the ATI, saying it would allow them to train farmers throughout Palawan, and not only in the provincial capital's Barangay Bacungan where the 1.2-hectare farm is located.

Farmer-trainees get to be under the tutelage of YB Training Center's trainers and consultants who are experts in the fields of forestry, agronomy, and veterinary medicine, among others.

With a desire to spread alternative and more efficient farming techniques, YB, which started its farm with only 20 farm workers, is now home to more than 200 farmers and agriculturists. Talking about the new partnership, farmer Sonny Tesado said: "Gusto kong matuto ng ibang paraan ng pagtatanim."

However, there is a handful of farming families who do not share Tesado's enthusiasm in this fresh farming approach and DA's Maur said this is one of the challenges that YB's Training Center is hoping to address.

"It's heart-breaking to know that our farmers are starting to age. Their children who have witnessed how hard it was to farm during their time no longer want to go into farming because they have realized there is no money in farming.">

The YB Training Center aims to break that notion and lure people back into farming.

YB agriculturist Fernan Hubo said Yamang Bukid aims to instil among their farm workers a "sense of joy" in their work, and emphasize to the next generation — who have otherwise grown skeptic about farming — that plenty of opportunities in agriculture abound.



"There is money, plenty of money in farming... There is dignity and money," Hubo said.

"Since we now have an accredited learning site, we will be able to encourage more people to take agriculture and become farmers that follow scientific practices," he added. — YB

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DOT nominates Yamang Bukid Farm for major tourism award

  • Yamang Bukid Farm, an emerging farm tourism destination in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, is being shortlisted for a major award on farm tourism.
    This after Yamang Bukid Farm was nominated by the Department of Tourism—Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan) to represent the region in this year’s Lakbay Bukid Awards.
    In nominating Yamang Bukid Farm, Danilo Intong, DOT Mimaropa regional director, in a letter, cited the farm destination’s efforts at promoting community-participated farm tourism.

    (Photos by JM ZAP)

    “As this regional office sees the efforts and practices of your organization in involving the communities and pushing for a more sustainable and inclusive growth community through farm tourism, we are pleased to inform you that (DOT-Mimaropa) is nominating (the Farm) for the 2019 Lakbay Bukid Awards,” Intong wrote Hope Alas, YBFP tourism campaign manager.

    The contest, Intong said, will highlight the 6th Philippine Farm Tourism Conference by the International School of Sustainable Tourism (ISST) on Nov. 6-8, 2019 at Cebu City. “Part of the event is the Lakbay-Bukid Award which gives recognition of the resiliency, ingenuity and the strength of our hardworking farmers, fisherfolk and others,” he added. Alas was grateful to DOT Mimaropa for the nomination even as she underscored the farmers’ role in transforming the farm tourism site to it has become now.

    The 20-plus hectare landholding in the hilly and forested area of Sitio (Sub-village) Candes III, Bacungan has been transformed into a virtual paradise of rural park, with well-manicured flower and vegetable gardens, Instagrammable sites; a restaurant serving local dishes made from organically-grown and naturally-raised crops, poultry and livestock and over 200-strong community of farmers who are former illegal loggers—turned-environmentalists.

    “This nomination would not be possible without the hardworking farmers and dedicated people of Yamang Bukid Farm,” she said. “This nomination will once again bring pride to the happy farming community of Yamang Bukid Farm. We will continue living a life for others by doing business with a heart,” added Alas.
    (JL)
    -30-

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Yamang Bukid Farm, Tesda offer NC-II trainings on farming, poultry raising

  • Yamang Bukid Farm in Palawan has partnered with the Technical Skills Education and Development Authority (TESDA) in offering scholarships for competency and assessment training next month.

    Free-range native Zamboanga Peninsula (ZamPen) chickens are being bred at Yamang Bukid Farm-Palawan, a Tesda-accredited farm school and farm tourism destination in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. The farm tourism destination is conducting National Competency (NC) II-certified trainings on poultry raising and organic farming to scholars nex month.
    (Photo by JM ZAP)

    Following its accreditation as a farm school by Tesda, the farm tourism destination in Puerto Princesa City’s Barangay Bacungan will host and provide National Competency (NC) II training for organic agriculture and animal production (poultry chicken), according to Ms. Elaine Marie Durian, Yamang Bukid Farm executive assistant. The trainings, which will be participated in by a total 50 student-scholars, will be conducted for free by the Farm’s agriculturists Fernan Hubo, Liza Jean Yocto and Marilyn Cenit.

    Tesda’s Kenneth Roque will head the pool of trainers.
    Lectures will be conducted at the ATI Training Center inside the Farm at Purok Kandis 3, Bacungan while field work is at the Farm’s organically-developed farm and poultry area where native species of chicken are being bred.
    “This is an opportunity for Yamang Bukid Farm to share its technical know-how through its competent pool of trainers,” said Ms. Durian.
    The training will start on Sept. 9, with the organic agriculture running for 29 days and the animal production training lasting for 32 days.

    Founded as a small farm in 2017, Yamang Bukid Farm has evolved into an emerging farm tourism destination in Palawan that is supportive of sustainable agriculture practices.
    With its rich pool of agriculturists and farm technicians, the Farm has been accredited as a farm learning site by the Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) and as a farm school by Tesda.
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Working mom strives to send husband to school

  • She symbolizes the changing role of a modern woman. Like most mothers, Arlyn Villawala prioritizes her family above else. That’s why it was painful to her to leave home for months, away from her husband and their baby daughter to prepare for the licensure exams for agriculturists.

    “I could not help but cry when I hear her voice over the mobile phone every time I call home. I terribly miss them,” Arlyn said, holding back tears during an interview at the University of the Philippines Los Banos recently.

    Arlyn, an employee of farm-tourism destination Yamang Bukid Farm in Puerto Princesa City Palawan, and fellow employee Daniel John Zabala, are sent by their employer to the UPLB for the rigorous months-long review, preparing them for the biggest day of their careers yet.

    A graduate of agricultural economics at Palawan State University (PSU) in Puerto Princesa, Arlyn is a young aspiring agriculturist who used to work for the city government.

    Among her tasks was to conduct surveys in the city’s villages in relation to the local government’s programs. During one of those trips, she dropped by the Farm, observed and learned how the former community of illegal loggers there was transformed into nature lovers with the introduction of the farm.

    Before long, Arlyn joined her colleagues at the city government who worked at the farm. “I was given an offer I could not resist,” she said in Filipino. “The pay was good and the working environment was perfect for me who loves farming.”

    At the farm, Arlyn is assigned in helping oversee the sprawling estate’s vegetable, herbal and ornamental gardens. She is among the farm’s young agriculture experts who teach former illegal loggers the scientific way of farming and of conserving nature. Her good pay is not only helping meet her family’s basic needs but it afforded her the luxury of paying for her husband’s school.

    Working as a mall security guard during the day, Arlyn’s husband goes to school at night, taking up criminology at one of the city’s private colleges. “I’m working for them. Even if it’s hard to be away from my little girl, I’ll just bear it,” Arlyn said.

    Due to their tight review schedule, she can only call her husband and daughter at least once a week.

    She said she would persevere so her husband can finish his schooling, adding she was very proud and happy when he told her of his desire to go to college. Arlyn was grateful to Yamang Bukid Healthy Products Inc. (YBHPI), parent company of Yamang Bukid Farm, for the support it extended for their review. Aside from review fees, the wellness products manufacturer also shouldered their food, board and lodging and other expenses.

    She said she would try to make most of the time in the review to learn as much as she could and get herself well-prepared for the board exams. “I will give my best to pass in the board exams. This is for my family. They are my inspiration,” she said.
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