The Department of Science and Technology (DOST), through the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD), proudly shares with the Filipino people the agricultural milestones it has achieved with the local farms in the country. Conceived through one of their programs, Science for the Convergence of Agriculture and Tourism (SciCAT) farms are now beacons of success that not only serve their essential agricultural purpose but also provide the Filipinos to learn about agri-tourism
As a nation that prides itself on its vast agricultural facets, it is only fitting that the government, specifically the DOST, provides all the necessary support needed to create an environment where appreciation for cultivation is abundant. PCAARRD is one of the sectoral councils of the DOST which is mandated to formulate policies, plans, and programs for science and technology-based research and development in the agriculture, aquatic, and natural resources (AANR) sector. Their primary role is to coordinate, evaluate, and monitor the national R&D efforts in AANR. It also allocates government and external funds for R&D and generates resources to support its program.
Siyensya, Saka, Saya: Marvelous Agri-Tourism farms and where to find them
With the steadfast involvement of DOST-PCAARRD in agri-tourism, various farms are now empowered with innovative ways on how they can cultivate and harvest in the most efficient way. These notable advancements in local farming are products of intensive research and development with a goal to lead the agricultural industry to new heights.
First, the Dimpas Greentigrated Agri-Tourism Farm in Banaybay, Davao Oriental. Here, you will be able to see various modern technologies applied to farm commodities such as rice, tilapia, goat, native chicken, duck, vegetables, herbs, and ornamental fishes, These technologies include System of Rice Intensification (SRI), Organic Tilapia Culture, ‘Darag’ native chicken production, ‘Itik Pinas’ raising, Vermicomposting and Organic Vegetable production.
Slightly up north from the Dimpas Farm is where you will find Mt. Kitanglad Agri-Tourism Farm. Sitio Sinaburan in Malaybalay Bukidnon is home to Mt. Kitanglad —one of the four pioneering SciCAT sites nationwide. This farm is where Agri-Tourism comes to life as there are a lot of activities you can enjoy and experience. You get to learn from their very own Magsasaka-Siyentista, Benjamin Maputi Sr. who can share his vast experience in cultivating agricultural crops while encouraging reforestation. Those who appreciate fresh and farm-to-table food may also enjoy their home-grown produce paired with their very own Arabica coffee as they prepare for their picture-taking moments in the camp quarters, tree houses, hobbit-house-inspired accommodations, and the rest of what mother nature can offer. In Mt. Kitanglad, you will discover more about Citronella oil processing, strawberries and various flower varieties, livestock and pets, and at the same time get to walk on their hanging bridge and play around their swings.
If you are the kind of person who is interested in making the most out of a farm produce, then, Magsasaka-Siyentista (MS) in Silan Agrifarm located in Indang, Cavite is a must-visit for you. This farm is owned and managed by MS Edilberto Silan. Established in 1996, with only pineapple and cows as the main commodities, the farm now has an array of different fruits including dragon fruit, pineapple, banana, papaya, tomato, vegetables, and livestock such as native pig, cow, carabao, and poultry. Papaya processing is one of the many ways the farm eliminates post-harvest losses. Through this, they are able to profit from value-added products such as pickles, candies, and nectar. They also raise stingless bees and native goats, grow banana (Lakatan and Saba) using tissue-cultured planting materials, and use drip Irrigation technology for dragon fruit production.
Completing our short but marvelous list of SciCAT farms is the S&S Plaza (Seeds and Seedlings Plaza) located in Los Baños, Laguna. Their farm areas include the Organic Production Area, Technology Demonstration Area, Foundation Scion Grove Site, and SciCAT Main Site where all tourism activities are being conducted. Upholding the essence of what being an Agri-Tourism farm means, farm tours and visits, training and seminars are only among the many things you can do in S&S Plaza. Technologies featured include Grafting Techniques, Black-Pepper Production, Garlic Production among others.
There are much more land to cultivate, and new technologies to discover
These SciCAT farms which thrive through new technologies supported by the DOST-PCAARRD in partnership with the owners of the aforementioned beautiful farm sites could just be the beginning of many more milestones we can achieve together. As many more champions from the agricultural industry realize the same mission and vision upheld in the creation of these Agri-Tourism farms, more of our Magsasaka-Siyentistas will be given the opportunity to grow not just their commodities but also assist and sustain the development of their own communities. There are vast possibilities in discovering new technologies and cultivating system processes, not only centered towards agriculture but also on the holistic development of the Philippines as a nation.