DA, Abra start agri-tourism project to improve farmers’ skills

Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary William Dar and Abra Governor Maria Jocelyn Bernos on Saturday led the groundbreaking ceremony for an agri-tourism site here which will double as a training area for farmers.

Bernos said the project site is a 34.293-hectare lot situated in Barangay Gaddani.

"Having this spacious area in Tayum, why not utilize it and establish an agri-tourism site to help the farmers improve their farming skills," said Bernos on the sidelines of the groundbreaking ceremony.

She said that the project will have an agricultural tourism technology demonstration and learning site for recreational and production purposes.

"Several packages of technologies and innovations will be developed in the proposed site for the purpose of showcasing the agricultural technologies on rice, corn, high value crops, industrial crops, organic agriculture and fisheries," Bernos said.

She added that the site will serve as an area for livestock production as well as for bee culture.

"To further enhance the skills of our farmers, we will establish machinery training and service center, soil and tissue culture laboratory production facilities, solar powered irrigation facilities, processing center and farmers' training center," Bernos said.

The said activities, according to the governor, will enhance the existing resources and boost crop production of farmers in the province.

The area will also have a non-agricultural component such as agri-tourism and display center, multi-purpose function hall, engineered bamboo processing center, bamboo clonal garden, and a recreational center.

Meanwhile, in a press conference after the groundbreaking ceremony, Dar assured that his agency will fully support the development of the agri-tourism site. "We want to improve the lives of our farmers and to address the issues on food security," he said.

Agri-tourism, according to him, integrates the gains of research and development, particularly the innovative and modern technologies that produce quality products, in which his agency can assist.

"These technologies vary from protective and precision agriculture, organic agriculture, food processing and development, agricultural information and communications management, and even biotechnology," he said.

Dar also said he wants DA to establish its research and development center in Abra to further assist in the development of innovations for the farmers.

"We will see to it that DA will do its share in turning this facility into reality, thus showcasing the bamboo products," he said.

Source: Philippines News Agency