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Senator Lito Lapid is pushing for the development of agritourism in the country.

Recognizing the country’s vast agricultural land coupled with hospitable Filipinos, Lapid said agritourism has a great potential to contribute to economic growth.

As a farmer, Lapid said he would promote the growth and promotion of agriculture through tourism and even encourage countrymen to support the local tourism industry.

The senator now chairs the Senate Committee on Tourism, formerly held by Sen. Nancy Binay

Lapid said the development of agritourism would encourage the youth to study agriculture, especially now that the country has aging farmers.

“The promotion of farm tourism will give us good jobs and opportunities for young people to return to farming and have additional income for our tourism, farmers, and local communities,” emphasized Lapid.

Farm tourism, he added, would also solve the problem of mass migration to urban centers.

Lapid noted that about half of the country’s population lives in rural areas, where poverty is widespread.

Agriculture is the primary and often only source of income for poor rural people, many of whom depend on subsistence farming and fishing for their livelihoods.

“Farm tourism would contribute to rural development and nation building,” Lapid said.

Agritourism is centered on agricultural-based activities to encourage vacationers or tourists to visit and learn about the work of farmers in fields and ranches.

Among the activities here are picking vegetables and fruits, making local wines, planting rice or root crops, studying organic farms, milking cows, riding buffalo or horses, fishing, picking coffee beans, farm-to-table dining, and many more.

Farm tourism has been institutionalized, with the enactment of Republic Act 10816, also known as the Farm Tourism Development Act of 2016.

The country now has more than 200 accredited farm tourism destinations nationwide, majority of which are located in Luzon.