Palawan farm destination gets gov’t boost for dairy production

Published: February 13, 2020 01:25pm | PUERTO PRINCESA CITY


PUERTO PRINCESA CITY—Yamang Bukid Farm, one of Palawan’s most visited tourism destinations, is embarking on dairy production to help improve the nutrition of school children, especially those in public schools.

Photo by Br. George Maria

This after the farm tourism destination in the city’s Barangay Bacungan availed of a soft loan from the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) to raise imported and high quality breed of carabao that can be a good source of milk and other dairy products.

Some 11 Murrah buffaloes were initially given by the Nueva Ecija-based state animal propagation hub in a “public-private partnership scheme” to the Puerto Princesa City farm destination, according to Dr. Arnel del Barrio, PCC executive director.

Photo by Br. George Maria

“This is part of our carabao enterprise development wherein we help cooperatives, individual farmers (and) families by lending them the carabaos like a soft loan.
Beneficiaries like Yamang Bukid Farm repay it with another carabao which will be given to (another beneficiary),” Del Barrio said.

Ten female buffaloes (also technically known as cows) and a bull were received by Yamang Bukid Farm and were promptly shipped from Nueva Ecija midweek.

While at sea, one of the four pregnant buffaloes gave birth to a healthy female calf affectionately called “baby YB.”

Hezir Rabaya, one of the farm’s managers who fetched the herd said a concrete barn was built on a hill overlooking the sprawling farm to house the animals.

“We have enough facilities and personnel for this project,” said Rabaya.

The farming destination, Rabaya said, has several employees who underwent training on quality milk production at PCC recently. These Yamang Bukid employees are the ones who will help him in taking care pf the imported water buffaloes and in doing the milk production.

Del Barrio said PCC typically disperses 200 carabaos yearly on average and that Yamang Bukid Farm is among the “numerous applicants” to the program.

“Yours is exceptional. Your story of doing business to help others is inspiring. I also came to know that you are accredited (as a training center) by (Agricultural Training Institute). In short, you have everything PCC can hope for in a partner (in this project),” the PCC head said.

He said both PCC and Yamang Bukid Farm are on the same advocacy of helping provide livelihood to farmers and their families.

“The bottomline is to help alleviate poverty and give good nutrition to the schoolchildren,” the official said.

Del Barrio said Yamang Bukid can also include dairy and milk production a component to its ATI-accredited trainings and further boost its capabilities as a learning site.

The sprawling farm tourism draw, which attracts at least 5, 000 visitors weekly, is known for its well-manicured gardens of ornamental plants, succulents, among others and is into sustainable farming of vegetables and other crops.

It employs nearly 300 farmworkers, over 90 percent of whom are former illegal loggers and charcoal-makers who have since become protectors of the environment.
(Juan Lim)

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YB partners with DA for
'farm entrepreneurship'

  • 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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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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Bamboo bike stars as farmers, soldiers grow trees in Palawan bike for a cause

  • PUERTO PRINCESA CITY—Farmers, soldiers and members of the diplomatic corps shoulder to shoulder together planted hundreds of seedlings of an indigenous tree species at a village here on Saturday in a bid to raise awareness about the protecting the environment.

    Also joining the event for Mother Earth were over 400 bikers from all over Palawan as well as Madel Argosino, a 20-year old development communication junior from University of the Philippines in Los Banos, Laguna who recently had taken part in the 70.3 Ironman World Championships in France, and Thomas Wiersing, European Union charge d’ affaires to the Philippines.

    International triathlete and Yamang Bukid wellness ambassador Madel Argosino poses with a bamboo-made bicycle against the Yamang Bukid Farm-Palawan market in Bacungan, Puerto Princesa City, Oct. 25. The 20-year old Argosino is among the over 400 bikers who rode for the Padyak para sa Kalikasan (Bike for Nature) event by the Cine Europa, Palawan tourism council and the European Union. |Jennifer Milante

    The participants took part in the event dubbed “Padyak sa Kalikasan 2.0 (Bike for Nature)”—a nearly 30-kilometer ride from SM City Puerto Princesa to Yamang Bukid Farm, Palawan’s emerging farm tourism destinations.

    The tree-planting event was a side activity of the 22nd Cine Europa, where over a dozen great European films were being shown at SM City Puerto Princesa cinemas from Oct. 24-26.

    “We did not only plant trees but we and our partners will be growing them,” said Bro. George Maria, Yamang Bukid Farm vice president for community affairs.

    Maria, a former seminarian, said Yamang Bukid Farm—whose 240 employees are mostly former illegal loggers and slash-and-burn farmers—has tied up with schools and the barangay council of Bacungan village in taking care of and monitoring the growth of nearly 500 balayong (Palawan cherry) tree seedlings planted by the roadside at Sitio (Sub-village) Magarwak in the same village.

    (From left to right, first row) International triathlete and Yamang Bukid wellness ambassador Madel Argosino, European Union charge d' affaires Thomas Wiersing and EU information officer to the Philippines Robert Leon stride on their bikes before the start of Padyak para sa Kalikasan event by the Cine Europa, European Union and Palawan tourism council, a 29-kilometer bike event that ended at Yamang Bukid Farm that seeks to raise environmental awareness.|Dianne Datu

    Hosting the pit stop of the bike for nature, according to Maria showed Yamang Bukid Farm’s commitment to help restore and protect Mother Nature.

    “This is also one of our farmers’ humble way of repaying the environment,” Maria said. Aside from contingents from the Naval Forces Western Command (Navforwest) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, participants included cyclists from the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), the Philippine National Police (PNP), Berong Nickel Corp., Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corp., Palawan Electric Cooperative (Paleco) and dozens of private companies and public entities as well as various schools in the island province. Capping the 29-kilometer biking event was international triathlete Argosino, who pedalled the full distance from the shopping mall to the Yamang Bukid Farm marker on a “bambike”, a fully-operational contraption made of bamboo.

    “It was fulfilling especially that I was riding for a cause in support of the farmers and the environment,” said Argosino, also a brand ambassador of health and wellness beverage maker Yamang Bukid Healthy Products Inc. (YBHPI). Yamang Bukid Farm is a sister company.

    She said she was ecstatic and surprised the environmentally-friendly bike was able to perform and endure the ride, particularly the steep and curve climbs approaching the Farm.

    European Union charge d' affaires Thomas Wiersing plants his first Palawan cherry (balayong) seedling in the sidelines of the Padyak para sa Kalikasan (Bike for Nature) at Barangay Bacungan, Puerto Princesa City. |Bro. George Maria

    Wiersing, the EU official, lauded the event and noted the farm tourism destination’s natural and sustainable agriculture practices as pro-environment.

    “The (EU) supports all sustainable methods of agriculture that help protect the environment,” Wiersing said.

    Maria said the event, which culminated in a festival-like atmosphere at an open clearing on the edges of the 20-hectare farm where Filipino traditional dances and games were performed and played, respectively, was “an inspiration for us in the management as well as the farmer-employees to continue our sustainable and Earth-friendly farming systems as we do business with a heart.”

    Participants and even casual farm guests partook of the six roasted pigs being prepared and shared in a long “boodle fight.”

    Maria also thanked the provincial, city and village officials as well as Palawan Tourism Council led by Deborah Tan, for choosing Yamang Bukid Farm as partner of the three-day film festival and biking for the cause events.

    (Juan Lim)
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