Organic Farming Ecotourism

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The Philippines is a considered as a fast growing industrial country but is still predominantly dependent on agricultural production. However, agricultural production has been on the decline due to continuous conversion of agricultural land into residential, industrial, leisure and commercial lands. Moreover, the continued dependence on synthetic commercial chemicals has led to the loss of fertility and productivity of the soil. Over the years, however, there has been an increase in the swing from conventional to organic agriculture. Organic agriculture, seen as a niche agriculture sector, is promoted as an effective and sustainable approach to food security, farmer’s profit instigation, and resource management. Aside from organic farming, the Department of Agriculture welcomed agricultural activities that encouraged active in the preservation of the environment, such as agriculture tourism and ecotourism as an additional initiative for agricultural development. Locally, the La Top Organic Farmers’ Multipurpose Cooperative (La Trinidad Organic Practitioners MPC) has been a recipient of different assistance to promote organic farming as a viable agricultural production practice. With the development assistances, La Top was able to be a successful model for organically produced goods and evolved into a trainer, consolidator, marketing arm and as a standard for authentic organic vegetables in the province of Benguet. Despite all these successes and recognition, information on the benefits of organic farming has not been widespread. Conventional farmers are still hesitant to shift their farming production techniques. Objectives and Methodology As an alternative means to promote organic agriculture, tourism was identified as a pro-poor initiated system that can highlight the potential economic opportunities of organic farming. Recognizing the opportunities of tourism, the project “Replicating La Top Success through Capacity Building and Alternative Tourism” aims to operationalize an alternative or optional ecotourism business that will showcase the success of organic farms in the Cordilleras. However, before engaging in such ventures, there is a need to have a better understanding of the flow of relationships in the tourism industry to better identify strategies and actions to make organic farming tourism more feasible and profitable. This could also facilitate development of interventions that could help add value to the existing supply and demands, including requirements, characteristics and gaps for organic farm tourism. The Value Chain Analysis (VCA) is a recognized methodology for the systematic competitiveness analysis of enterprises and local industries as it examines all relevant activities, relationships and processes and identifies those with critical relevance for improving the competitive performance. The Value Chain Analysis is an appropriate methodology for this particular assignment which aims at assessing the potentials of the organic farm tourism venture in Benguet and at identifying critical issues in its development process.

Comment [M1]: To be completed after the additional information have been filled in

Replicating La Top Success Through Capacity Building and Alternative Tourism A Value Chain Analysis of the Organic Farm Tourism Venture Jaime V. Ongpin Foundation, Inc.

Results and Recommendations Since the organic farm tours will be a relatively new business venture for the Province, integrating the organic farm tours into the tourism industry would require four (4) major processes before the final product will reach the targeted clientele: a) Awareness and perception creation of the locality; b) tour package development, c) tour package acquisition and d) tour package marketing and sales. Although the target organic farms are located within the prominent tourist destinations of the Province, there is still a need to develop or package the tourism venture into existing tour...
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