Farm tourism opens up a whole new perspective for inclusive and sustainable agricultural and rural development (Isard) and provides hope for revitalizing the sector as a sunrise, if not a sunshine industry in Southeast Asia.
Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit Jr., director of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (Searca), gave this reflection as the center opened the five-day “Exposure Workshop on Farm Tourism Practices in Southeast Asia” on December 4 at the Searca headquarters in Los Baños, Laguna.
Designed as a platform where different stakeholders from the across the region may share, learn and update themselves on the varying states of and trends in farm tourism in Southeast Asia, the exposure workshop had participants representing six countries in the region—Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam—and Taiwan as represented by a resource person.
Saguiguit related Searca’s efforts to establish a Southeast Asian AgriMuseum and Learning Center in Agricultural and Rural Development, saying that both initiatives place agriculture and its exciting prospects at center stage. This is toward the greater appreciation of agriculture, not just for the youth in their career choices but also for other important sectors and the general public as a whole.