SUSTAINABLE farm tourism has been declared a priority area for promotion in a partnership signed by the Department of Tourism (DoT) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in June with FAO Interim Representative to the Philippines Xiangjun Yao for a three-year pilot program that will promote far tourism and provide technical support in selected locations.

The program is intended to help the tourism industry recover after the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Ms. Puyat said the DoT will finalize the program’s details with the FAO this month.

“By working with FAO, the DoT aims to link farm tourism to sustainable agricultural practices. The objective is to equip our farm workers and fisherfolk with the skills and infrastructure support they need to survive these hard times,” Ms. Puyat said.

Ms. Puyat said that farm tourism provides an avenue for employment and income augmentation, while helping ensure food security.

“This partnership with the DoT will truly ignite the development and the recovery of the tourism and agriculture sectors in the Philippines, which were both heavily devastated by the prevailing pandemic,” FAO’s Ms. Yao said.

According to the DoT, farm tourism has the potential to draw visitors interested in harvesting, feeding and raising animals, fishing, and camping, among others. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave