Agriya’s tourism component seen completed in two years

THE AGRITOURISM component of the 88-hectare mixed use project of Damosa Land Inc. in Panabo City, Davao del Norte is expected to be opened to the public within the next two years.

The component, which is part of the five-year first phase of the Agriya project, is expected to attract visitors who would want to orient themselves on how agriculture has been developing in this part of Mindanao, said Ricardo F. Lagdameo, company vice president last week.

Lagdameo, grandson of company founder Don Antonio O. Floirendo, said the company, which is setting aside a portion of the development for showcasing the agricultural processes from land preparation to harvesting, is looking at making this project component appealing to the youth for them to get interested in agriculture.

On the funding for the component, the company “has not finalized the budget yet,” he added, adding that the company is ready to invest “a significant amount “because we want to come out with a bang.

“There are not much tourism destinations like this yet in Mindanao even when it is the heart of agriculture (in the country),” he added, in replying to the question of how different the project to themed parks.

The park will contain working farms as well as other components that will showcase the evolution of crops from the time they are grown until harvest. Visitors will even be allowed to harvest the crops that they are interested and that they will just have to pay what they harvest.

“Agriculture is a very meticulous process; that is the type of attraction that we want to educate them on,” Lagdameo added, pointing out that the segment will be “very heavy on the educational component.”

Floirendo was known as among those who started the export banana production in this part of the country with the establishment of its Tagum Agricultural Development Co. Inc. in the late 1960s and the Anflo Banana Corp. just about five years ago.

Lagdameo added that the company is envisioning the whole project to be completed in 15 years.

Also, among the components that will be first built is the campus of the University of the Philippines-Los Banos as the company has donated 31,000-square meter lot for the project with the university spending about P271 million for the two-phase campus. Based on its timeline after signing the agreement with the company in January, the university is opening in the first semester of this year for its graduate programs and short courses.

Aside from the school and the tourism components, Lagdameo said the project will also have commercial and residential components.

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