Diversified farming for a healthy community

Text by: Bombette G. Marin

Photos courtesy of KVTS

THE town of Bingawan at the edge of Iloilo province’s central portion is very much another unsung corner of Iloilo which boasts of warm, friendly, and welcoming people.

Farming is at the heart of Bingawan, which boasts of rich agricultural lands. The landscapes are gorgeous from gentle pastures to the high mountains.

The area offers some beautiful hiking and biking trails across its lovely rolling meadows, woodland, and working farms. The town would be less touristic than its neighboring towns but is worth exploring.

If you are concerned about how organic farming can benefit our shared environment and promote fair relationships and good quality of life, then a trip to Connie Carillo Diversified Farm is for you.

With the governments’ efforts to improve the knowledge and technical skills of the farmers, the Connie Carillo Diversified Farm in Barangay Cairohan has an extension outreach center dubbed KRYZ Vocational and Technical School, Inc. (KVTS).

KVTS is envisioned to be a center of livelihood training programs to realize the country’s goal of economic development. It was established to provide livelihood skills, trends, ideas, opportunities, market and entrepreneurial endeavors. It prepares trainees with necessary knowledge, appropriate skills, and proper work ethics to become responsible entrepreneurs.

The training farm school, the only service provider in Region Vi accredited by the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), has benefited farm associations and daycare and primary schools in the barangay.

The farm facilitates the development of farmers and youth through the ladderized course approach. Connie Carillo Diversified Farm serves as a mentor that assists them in learning farm processes to prepare them as future farm managers and agripreneurs.

The farm is also a success in helping small farmers through farm technologies and knowledge.

The program includes a 3-day Sustainable and Agriculture and Livelihood Trainings which includes Banana, Pineapple, Ginger, Coconut, Stevia, Cassava, Turmeric, Sweet Potato and Squash Production and Processing, Culinary Herb Processing, Vermi Composting and Processing, Organic Fertilizer Production, Organic Feed Formulation, Refreshing Organic Herbs Processing, Infused Vinegar, Duck Raising and Processing, native Chicken Production and Processing and Hito Fattening for Business.

The courses give the trainees a chance to experience the joy of working with living, organic soils and crops, as well as understanding the principles and practices behind the method of maintaining them.

All course topics will be covered both theoretically and experientially. Trainees will get the opportunity to meet and interact with local growers and farmers who have dedicated their lives to organic production methods.

Many people associate the topic of tourism with overcrowded, chaotic attractions, resulting in communities overrun by tourists. These images can discourage our farmers and other small entrepreneurs from considering Farmtourism as a method of enhancing agriculture revenues.

However, the best way to view Farmtourism is to see it much like ecotourism which is often low impact, small scale, and education-focused.

The learning available at the KRYZ Vocational and Technical School, Inc. and Connie Carillo Diversified Farm are very broad and can be tailored to fit each individual farm or farmer situation. Because most farms in Iloilo are operated by small landowners, there is a better opportunity for customization and uniqueness in Farmtourism attractions.

For more information, please contact Mrs. Connie Carillo at 09089289284 or Mr. Sancho Carillo at 09072365960 or Dennis Lampon at 09777152007.

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