JADEN TAN led a group of Taiwanese leisure farming advocates that visited local farms recently to familiarize themselves with some agritourism destinations in the Philippines. Jaden owns Long Yun Leisure Farm in the Alishan Mountain which boasts of his sweet bamboo shoot and tea plantation besides facilities for several do-it-yourself recreational activities.
Tan and his companions exchanged views with Ronald Costales who operates the Costales Nature Farms in Majayjay, Laguna. They observed how Ronald grows his organic lettuce and other vegetables which he supplies to upscale restaurants in Metro Manila. His other products are organic eggs, organic pork and more.
Costales Nature Farms, which is the first agritourism destination to be accredited by the Department of Tourism, does not only produce organic vegetables and meat. The farm has become a training center for organic agriculture and is an accredited technology provider by the Agricultural Training Institute of the Department of Agriculture.
Costales has also put up lodging facilities to accommodate visitors who opt to stay overnight. He has also crafted a unique investment scheme where investors can invest in greenhouses and lodging facilities as joint ventures.
One joint venture in the pipeline is the construction of an all-purpose events hall where weddings and other celebrations can be held. The investor will put up the structure while Costales will take care of marketing and management.
Another joint venture in the offing is the bottling of spring water. Costales has a property with a spring that supplies free-flowing water to his farm. Initial customers of the bottled water are the upscale restaurants that he supplies with his organic vegetables.
The Taiwan visitors were guided by Jane Chen who manages a travel agency. They also visited the Sarian Farm in Teresa, Rizal and the Aztec Spirulina farm of Engr. Pol Puente in Cainta, Rizal.