The Department of Science and Technology- Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD) partnered with University of the Philippines Institute for Small-Scale Industries (UP ISSI) to establish the Science for the Convergence of Agriculture and Tourism (SciCAT) program, which is mandated by Republic Act No. 10816, that emphasizes the importance of developing farm tourism sites that highlight tourism-related activities and prompting the mature enhancement of technologies.
Seven farm sites have been completely operational since the program’s inception. Mt. Kitanglad Agri-Tourism Farm in Bukidnon, Dimpas Greentigrated Farm in Davao Oriental, Seeds and Seedlings (S&S) Plaza in Los Baños, Laguna, and Silan Agrifarm in Indang, Cavite, to name a few, have all been outstanding. The farm managers were given the opportunity to create a Farm Enterprise Plan and were tutored on how to increase productivity and profitability.
Mt. Kitanglad is proud of its Triangular method of Arabica planting, which gives roughly 15% more plants in the same amount of area than the square approach. Chemical-free cabbage and bell pepper are employed as abundant materials in the farm for natural concoctions.
Natural topography forces channel eroded soils from the farm into catchment basins. These are utilized as fillers in the farm’s pots and beds, making them a long-term method of retaining soil nutrients.
Seedling is another technology to keep an eye out for in Mt. Kitanglad. This approach fertilizes, nurtures, and maintains the chosen crop and tree variety, which has proven sufficient potential for income and performs its function better than other crop and tree types.
Dimpas Greentigrated Farm, on the other hand, uses organic inputs like vermicast to cultivate organic veggies including okra, eggplant, cucumber, tomato, string beans, and bitter gourd. Furthermore, the farm employs an Intermittent Irrigation System of Rice Intensification (SRI) (7 days dry, 3 days wet) and has a rotary weeder and vermicast for manual weeding.
Ducks are also a valuable resource. In reality, compared to traditional mongrel ducks, Dimpas has “Itik Pinas,” which promotes a more adaptive behavior and produces larger and more eggs ideal
for ‘Balut’ processing. In both farms, vermi worms play a role. Vermicomposting with African Night Crawlers (ANC) typically takes a month to harvest vermicompost and vermicast.
Both farms’ current commodities are Tilapia, which is produced by beginning with pond preparation, which includes draining the ponds and allowing them to dry until the soil splits to remove unwanted gases and kill weeds.
Under the DOST-PCAARRD and BPI-LBNCRDPSC, the Seeds and Seedlings Plaza was built in 2017 to provide high-quality planting materials for lowland vegetables, legumes, herbs, and fruit trees. Since then, the management has done an excellent job of fulfilling its goal by developing technology and performing activities that benefit the farm and the surrounding community.
One of the technologies at the Plaza is organic vegetable production. Field management techniques such as green manuring, low tillage, trellis, netting, protective structures, and botanical attractants all contribute to a high-quality crop.
They also offer Grafting Technology, which solves the issues of soil-borne illnesses that negatively affect crop development and performance, resulting in mortality and a longer harvesting cycle.
Black Pepper Production is another package of technology (POT) that processes seedlings from single and double nodal cuttings (found to have a higher survivability rate than 5 nodes cutting and the use of black pepper seeds) and plants them on tunnel-shaped plastics or the “kulob” method at the S&S Plaza. Finally, the Plaza has a Garlic Production System that has provided the results of various garlic trials as well as five garlic kinds that are all suited for production in Regions 3, 5, and 6, as well as Los Baños, Laguna.
Last but certainly not the least, The Silan AgriFarm in Indang, Cavite, which is one of the well-established sites under the DOST-PCAARRD’s Science for the Convergence of Agriculture and Tourism (SciCAT) Program. The farm, which is managed and owned by Edilberto Silan, intends to promote agricultural innovations in order to develop and sustain high-quality farming practices.
To begin, one of their most prominent POTs is Papaya Processing, which reduces post-harvest losses and boosts profits from papaya value-added goods including pickles, sweets, and nectar.
Furthermore, a stingless beekeeping system that they have been building on the farm aids in enhancing crop pollination, resulting in a 30 percent increase in productivity. Each of the locations where pollination is most needed received six to ten colonies.
Another key POT is banana production, which incorporates the utilization of tissue-cultured Lakatan and Saba plantlets (F1 Hybrid variety) that yield uniform maturity and 30 percent larger bunches of fruits.
Next, they have a Native Goat Production system, which is one of the most important systems on the farm because goats are popular with Filipinos because they require little capital input, are suitable for small-scale farming, and proliferate quickly. As a result, the market for goats has grown essential, and they attract a greater price than other commodities.
The Drip Irrigation Technology for Dragon Fruit is perhaps the POT that has made their farm renowned. This technology, which has been implemented in a few dragon fruit areas, promotes plant health and expedites dragon fruit to ripen.