DA exec hails Yamang
Bukid ‘sustainable farming’
Published: September 28, 2018 07:00am | Puerto Prinsesa
PUERTO PRINCESA CITY—Officials from the Department of Agriculture have lauded the initiative of Yamang Bukid Farm in promoting sustainable agriculture in transforming an undeveloped upland community here into an emerging agri-tourism destination.
In her visit to the sprawling farm during its 4th Agros Festival last Feb. 16, DA Undersecretary for administration Evangeline Lavina praised the farm’s effort in enlisting the help of the community in Bacungan in the endeavour by employing illegal loggers as farm workers.
Lavina said Yamang Bukid Farm’s model should be replicated by other farms elsewhere in the country as it attempted to solve the problem of widespread forest degradation by giving an alternative livelihood to tree poachers thereby turning them away from illegal forest activities.
With an area covering more than 10 hectares, the farm was a former grassy upland area made productive by villagers through kaingin (slash-and-burn) farming, a highly-destructive method that involves the cutting and burning of a portion of a hill to clear it for farming which scrapes the land of nutrients and induces soil erosion during the rainy season.
Owned by Baguio City-based Yamang Bukid Healthy Products, maker of such brands as turmeric tea 10-in-1, the Yamang Bukid Farm employs about 200 people, over 90 percent of whom are ex-loggers. They enjoy above-average salaries and wages, free lunches and stipend for their schoolchildren.
“Yamang Bukid Farm is an ideal model for sustainable agriculture and tourism. Such practice can hugely help the agriculture sector by employing many people while maintaining the balance of nature,” Lavina said during the tour where she was shown the farm’s various amenities and attractions, such as the sunflower garden, herbal medicine nursery, House of Kakanin (delicacies), the then on-going construction of glamorous camping (clamping) tents, among others.
She witnessed and was entertained how farmers in their blue garb danced “budots” and other modern dance tunes.