Yamang Bukid Farm draws over 254,000 visitors in 2019

Published: January 24, 2020 01:25pm | PUERTO PRINCESA CITY


Yamang Bukid Farm is among the most visited tourism destinations in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, drawing over a quarter of a million guests last year, government data released recently revealed.

At least 254, 449 local and foreign tourists visited the 20-hectare farm tourism destination in Barangay Bacungan in 2019, according to a report Friday by online Palawan News.

Citing data released by the city government, the report said Yamang Bukid Farm placed fourth in the list of the most popular destinations for tourists in tourism-magnet Puerto Princesa.

Topping the list is Baker’s Hill, a privately-run hilltop destination in Sta. Monica village where popular Palawan delicacies and other pasalubong (souvenir) are sold. It attracted some 630, 455 visitors last year.

The UNESCO-heritage site Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (PPSRNP) came in second with 331, 356 visitors. Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center was third, logging in 272, 881 guests.

Rounding up the top five is Luli Island resort off Honday Bay, drawing at least 144,965 tourists.
Yamang Bukid, a two-year old sprawling farm has been popular among tourists for its well-manicured flower gardens and delicacies such as sumbulo—a saccharine glutinous rice cake cooked in bamboo and flavored with health and wellness herbs—among others.

The Farm has some 300 employees, more than 90 percent of whom are former illegal loggers and tree poachers.

It is also an advocate of sustainable and organic agriculture. Last year, Yamang Bukid Farm, has embarked in a partnership with Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) in teaching modern farming methods and technology to the grassroots in Bacungan and nearby communities.
(JL)

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YB Farm’s Evolution

  • The Yamang Bukid farm in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan was initially intended to be a turmeric plantation, but later it evolved into a place for relaxation for eager tourists and weary travelers, and a habitat to wild, endemic species of animals and insects and flowering plants in the area.

    Baguio City-based Yamang Bukid Healthy Products, Inc. started the farm in Barangay Bacungan Princesa a little over two years ago to produce turmeric. It was an initially 1.2-hectare tract of unproductive land that was supposed to be dedicated to turmeric farm.

    But it has since evolved into a diverse habitat of local fauna and flora, even as it began to be known as a farm-tourism destination, especially after the Tourism Department granted it an accreditation.

    As it burst into a cool idyllic sight, the farm soon caught the attention of everyone – from curious passers-by to wide-eyed tourists and travelers -- as it transformed into an agro-forestry showcase, an ideal place for people, families, and friends to be in commune with nature —free of any charge.

    With this exciting development, the farm's initiators saw another opportunity not only to expand their venture but also broaden the help they are giving back to the community and the environment.
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Eco-friendly resort partners with Yamang Bukid Farm to help COVID-affected families in Palawan

  • By Brittny Lourde Trinidad

    Daluyon Beach and Mountain Resort, an internationally acclaimed, multi-award winning resort of Sabang, Palawan, which promotes eco-conscious business practices, partners with Yamang Bukid Farm in feeding heavily affected families of COVID-19 crisis.

    The only tourist stay in the Philippines that has garnered a Level 4 Anahaw certification, an award recognized by the Department of Tourism as the first national green certification in the Philippines, Daluyon Resort, through YB, has sponsored 200 bottles of Buffalo milk to the seafaring communities in Sabang. This community consists of over 300 families with 1000 individuals. They were denied access to DOLE’s 5k assistance program, according to Teresita Austria, the BOD Chairperson of the Sabang Sea Ferry Service Multipurpose Cooperative.

    Daluyon wanted to do their part to provide relief for these localities. So, Sir Bruce Tan, CEO of Daluyon, and his people convened with Br. George Maria, VP of Public Affairs at YB Farm-Palawan, on how to further help Sabang gain food security by reaching out to those communities affected by the tourism industry’s decline.

    This establishment is a world-renowned resort part of the European Union’s project for more sustainable tourism in the Philippines. They offer various ways of clean-and-green methods, like those as simple as using refillable bottles instead of disposable sachets for their guest rooms, to state-of-the-art technology and interior design. They are situated a 15-minute boat ride away from the UNESCO world-heritage tourist destination, Puerto Princesa Underground River.

    Daluyon also conducted a meeting with Yamang Bukid Farm-Palawan’s Chief Agriculturist, Sir Totong Arceo, along with their three young agriculturists, on how to develop a sustainable organic farm right within their premises by the beautiful Sabang Beach. In adapting to this pandemic and keeping their people sustained, Daluyon also hopes to help support the surrounding communities of Sabang Village, Puerto Princesa to rise from this pandemic together.

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Ecological agriculture
key to food stability
(Dr. Elderico Tabal, PhD)

  • Imagine how crowded the Philippines could become in 2030. The current population is already more than 107 million and is expected to hit 109 million by the end of 2019 according to the Philippine Population Commission. Food self-sufficiency will surely preoccupy whoever is in government. In contrast with the 20th century, when food was relatively cheaper, the 21st century is expected to see food prices rise as a result of food shortage. Hence, “the world is just one poor harvest away from chaos in the grain markets. Food prices will rise to previously sunimaginable levels. Food riots will multiply, political unrest will spread and governments will fall,” said Lester Russell Brown, founder and president of Earth Policy Institute, based in Washington D.C. In the Philippines, food demand will rise while land areas for low land agriculture will continue to shrink due to human pressure and will further escalate food shortage. Eventually not be able to meet the two of the most important Sustainable Development Goals (SGD 1 & 2) set by the Food and Agriculture or FAO and that is to “end poverty and hunger”.

    Ecosystems in the uplands are very attractive for utilization because of its rich natural resources. However, the unregulated and often indiscriminate activities done to meet food demands in these fragile ecosystems have led to the degradation of the upland habitat. Widespread cutting of forest resources which resulted in the loss of habitats and biodiversity. Charcoal making from wood products have become a lucrative enterprise which pose an alarming concern on forest ecosystems. This practice lives open areas vulnerable for change in land uses. One of these is the practice of slash and burn or “kaingin system” which contributed to further soil degradation and loss of natural soil-biodiversity. Soil erosion is one form of soil degradation and if left unattended it will continue to bring negative effects to lowland communities and in coastal areas. Soil is not only the major natural resource on which human being depends for the production of food but also plays a key role in maintaining the complex terrestrial ecosystems and climate systems of our planet.

    According to the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD), the recent rapid increase in human population has placed a great strain on the Philippines’ soil resources. The continuing population pressure required the use of more lands to meet food demand, which had resulted in massive deforestation causing undesirable ‘on and off-site’ consequences. The practice of ‘till-plant-and-fertilize’ cropping pattern has caused constant threats to the upland ecosystems. These constraints are expected to escalate as food demand is expected to increase. The solution to the problem of providing enough food in the future now depends on the extent of productivity level of our available lands including those lands which are too steep to till but are currently used for agriculture. However, uplands or steeped land conditions used for agriculture can further induce soil erosion which will lead to soil fertility loss and crop yield decline.

    The Yamang Bukid Farm or YB Farm located in Barangay Bacungan, Puerto Princesa has exemplified the so called “forest-coupled-agriculture”, a system coined by Dr. Baguinod, a retired professor of the University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB). This is a modified model of ecological agriculture considered by the Food and Agriculture Organization or FAO as an outstanding mitigating measure to help address environmental hazards and conservation of the upland ecosystems. This strategic objective within the work of the FAO opens the door more widely to ecological approaches to agriculture. It explicitly recognizes that sustainability is as much a goal as production, and the two must be attained together. Ecosystem services, the multitude of benefits that nature provides to society – underpin agricultural production. Understanding the important functions of these services – from maintaining soil health to natural pest control and pollination – is vital, said Barbara Herren of Sustainable Food Trust based in the US.

    This is why Yamang Bukid Farm is focused on “ecosystem services and biodiversity for food and agriculture” or simply the “forest-coupled-agriculture system” in the uplands in order to ensure healthy farming that promotes healthy soil environments and sustainability of healthy food supply for today and tomorrow for the Filipino people and the world. This is FAO’s ultimate hope on sustainable food production system by protecting soil, water and climate, promotes biodiversity, and does not contaminate the environment with chemical inputs and genetically engineered materials.

    (Dr. Elderico Tabal holds a PhD degree of agronomy from the University of the Philippines-Los Banos and is a consultant for Yamang Bukid Farm. Doc Rico also teaches various agronomy and forestry courses at a state university in western Mindanao)
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