March 23, 2023

BONTOC, Mountain Province – The Municipal Tourism Office (MTO), in collaboration with the committees on agriculture and tourism of the municipal council, is looking forward to the advancement of agriculture and tourism in the capital town.

Farm tourism is a concept that combines tourism and agriculture by drawing visitors to the farms to experience activities like harvesting, feeding and raising animals, fishing, camping, hiking and even sampling of local cuisines.

The recent benchmarking activity at Agricultural Training Institute (ATI)-accredited learning farm sites in Besao and Sagada on Jan. 25, which were participated in by councilors Benedict Odsey III and Elizabeth Farnican of the Municipal Tourism Office, has been a learning avenue to be imparted to farm owners in the municipality.

The activity was coordinated by Faith Pec-ao, the learning site focal person from the Office of the Provincial Veterinarian (OpVet).

Odsey and Farnican, along with farm owners in Bauko, visited the Salt and Pepper Organic Farm in Besao; Sagada Village Heritage Bees at Lolos Farm, and Kiltepan Integrated Rabbit Farm, both located in Sagada.

Odsey, also the chairperson of the committee on agriculture and a member of the committee on tourism, said agri-tourism could help improve the lives of farmers and farm owners.

Reflecting on their recent visit, Odsey said farm tourism could be an avenue to attract guests to visit farms in Bontoc for educational and recreational purposes, and encourage economic activities that can provide both farms and communities additional income.

He encouraged the farmers to introduce technology in farming and open their farms to tourists under the farm tourism program of the Department of Tourism.

Odsey assured the support of the LGU to the farm owners on their applications for the accreditation of their farms.

The Bontoc Dairy Farms is the only ATI-accredited learning farm in Bontoc.

Another farm in Barangay Maligcong recently underwent assessment by the MTO and the OpVet.

Farnican is also encouraging interested individuals who want to operate tourist farms to visit the MTO or the OpVet for the requirements. – Alpine K. Malwagay