THE ATI indigenous people of Boracay is getting assistance from the Department of Agriculture (DA) for setting up a high-value vegetable organic farm and a restaurant, which is planned to be ready for tourists when the island reopens in October. “The Ati Tribe of Boracay Island will no longer be just hawkers and spectators to the thriving tourism industry in their ancestral land which benefits big businessmen because they too will be part of the booming tourism industry when the popular world vacation destination reopens on Oct. 26 this year,” DA Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol wrote on his Facebook page on June 27 after he attended the project launch. The farm, which will also have a solar-powered greenhouse, is planned to produce supply not just for the Ati’s own restaurant along the main road, but also for the island’s resorts. The two-hectare farm complex within ancestral land is also planned to have “Tribal Vacation Cottages” using indigenous materials, where guests can experience the Ati’s traditional way of life. The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, meanwhile, distributed 10 fiberglass fishing boats with gear and engine for the Ati tribesmen and other local fisherfolk. The assistance program also includes technical and financial literacy training from the Agricultural Training Institute and the Agricultural Credit Policy Council.