|University of San Agustin sophomore tourism students for Tumandok 2012-Badiangan group|
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
EPHRATHAH Farms in Badiangan: Revitalizing the Agriculture Sector through Tourism
One of the many reasons for the sustaining success of tourism in Iloilo province is its continuous efforts on improving its existing tourism products and innovating new tourism products. Eco-tourism is inter-sectoral in nature and has shown tremendous success. Iloilo, being an agricultural and fisheries dominated province, has tremendous potential for developing Agri-Tourism in a big way without much additional investment. There is a possibility of converting potential cropped areas of the province as tourist attractions with minimum intervention to transfer the benefits of tourism directly to the farmers. Such program is intended to prepare farms, plantations, fishponds around the province to receive tourists by presenting a positive image of the farm and of agriculture and fisheries as a whole, in view of revitalizing the agriculture sector of Iloilo through tourism.
Badiangan, Iloilo has a different type of attraction in its farm land situated in Barangay Sariri, 5 kilometers away from its poblacion. The EPHRATHAH Farms owned by Engr. Eddie Canuto is this town’s newest attraction where you will be totally detached from the noisy and crowded life in the city. Without any pressures of day to day life, you will surely enjoy your leisure time in this organic land.
This farm tourism site includes developing a 5 hectare farm for lakatan, red lady papaya and dragon fruit plantation and another 4.5 hectare farm for nursery, fishpond and an area for black and pink rice. Presently, the farm area for tourism facilities is under construction of separate enclosures. Accommodation facilities for tourists and trekkers to the area will also be part of the owner’s construction project.
Most unique to the site is its dragon fruit plantation that is known to be the largest in the province. Not known to many, the dragon fruit, popularly known as strawberry pear and is endemic to Thailand, comes from a vining , terrestrial or epiphytic cactus with fleshy stems reaching from a few inches to 20 feet long for the mature plant. Its flowers, ornate and beautiful, only blooms at night and usually last just for a night where its pollination is necessary to set fruit. Often round and red-colored, its fruit has prominent scales with a thin rind that encloses a large mass of sweet-flavored white or red pulp with edible small black seeds. Varieties are of pink and yellow colors. It is popularly eaten chilled and is also used in flavored drinks and pastries.
Scientific study shows that 100 grams of the dragon fruit contains 0.9 grams of Fiber, 8.8 grams of Calcium, 0.61 gram of Fat, 0.012 gram of Carotene, 0.430 milligram of Niacin, 36.1 milligram of Phosphorus, 9.0 milligram of Ascorbic Acid, 0.229 gram of Protein, 83.0 grams of Water, 0.68 grams of Ashes, 0.65 milligram of Iron and 0.045 milligram of Riboflavin.
Dragon fruit can help lower the diabetes blood glucose levels when included in even moderate quantities in a typical diabetic diet plan meals. It is rich in antioxidants that help prevent the formation of carcinogenic free-radicals. Packed with vitamin C it ensures fast healing of bruises and cuts and helps improve the function of the immune system. It helps get rid of heavy metal toxins from the body. It is great for asthma and cough. It helps maintain and improve the health of the eyes. It prevents hypertension.
Another attraction of this farm is its medicinal herbal plantation is beautiful and beneficial. The farm spreads over a large area with its demonstrative herbal garden beside the pond. It has varieties of different medicinal plants on aesthetically designed herbal beds. It provides a walking place for visitors.
The farm’s goat breeding area has Boer goats, known to be one of the most popular breeds of meat goat in the world. They commonly have white bodies and distinctive brown heads or pink and possess long, pendulous ears. They are noted for being docile, fast growing, and having high fertility rates. Boer goats have a high resistance to disease. The farm also raises Anglo-Nubian goats, known for its dairy or dual-purpose. They have markings of any color, the ears are elongated, pendulous and floppy and the nose is Roman. They have high butterfat content for their milk, although on average, the breed produces less milk than other dairy breeds.
With 11 grow out ponds, the farm is primarily stocked with 1,500 Pangasius fish, 15,500 tilapia and 3,000 koi. The aim of the pond area is to educate the community, site where tours can be conducted. The fish and release pond at the other site is a great spot to relax with its floating cottage, a place where you wish to make the most of your out.
One of the most important benefits of Agri-tourism is that it helps boost the image of the agriculture sector and the creation of employment opportunities for the unemployed in the agricultural sector who otherwise opt for non-agricultural activities. Youths can be attracted towards agriculture sector that has long created important changes as far as Iloilo province is concerned.
The quiet town of Badiangan is 40 kilometers from the city and is situated on the west- central part belonging to the 3rd District in the province of Iloilo. It is composed of 31 barangays over its 481.12 hectare land area. It is bounded in the southwest by Janiuay; southeast by Mina; on the east by Pototan; on the north by Duenas and on the northwest by Lambunao. To get to Badiangan, one can take the jeepney or air-conditioned van at the terminal fronting Christ the King Memorial Park in Jaro. Know more about Badiangan on Tumandok at the fountain area of Robinsons Place Iloilo on September 4-8, 2012. For more information, please contact, Miss Eva Esteva-Municipal Tourism Officer at 09186043100.
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