The Philippine Star
February 10, 2013
MANILA, Philippines – Agriculture-oriented tourists and students will soon find a new haven in the pastoral town of Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte which recently rolled out its agriculture-based tourism program.
Launched at the Kahumayan Festival, the municipality showcased its rich agricultural yield which will be a springboard for agri-tourism.
Agri-tourism is an emerging sub-sector of the tourism industry.
Mayor Benjamin Baguio pointed out that Kapatagan town is endowed with three rich ecosystems of flatlands, upland and coastal land, making it ideal for eco- and agri-based tourism.
He said that with its vast fertile farmlands and bustling aquaculture industry, Kapatagan is regarded as a rice granary and crab capital of Lanao del Norte.
Kapatagan has an aggregate agricultural land of 23,312 hectares – 2,373 of which are devoted to ricefields, 1,713 to aquaculture and 685 to bangus fishpens.
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The town yields an annual production of 45,197 kgs and has begun producing healthy organic black rice which has posted a sharp demand from the Visayas and Mindanao area.
The town also produces 1,980 metric tons of prawns, the biggest in Lanao del Norte. It also yields 26.74 metric tons (MT) of crabs, 48.6 MT of tilapia and 6.45 MT of bangus.
The river village of Taguitic, a major crab producer, has a strong potential for agri- and nature-based recreational activities such as river cruises and educational tours.
Department of Tourism regional director Catalino Chan III has expressed interest in supporting such undertakings which would add diversity to the tourism products offered by the northern Mindanao region.
Due to its strategic location, Kapatagan also serves as an agricultural trading post for the neighboring towns in Lanao del Sur and Zamboanga del Sur.
Baguio said that the town also has strong eco-tourism potential because of its two scenic waterfalls – Cathedral and Sta. Cruz – scenic mountains and vibrant riverine communities.
He added that the Kahumayan Festival, which coincides with the patronal feast of St. Francis Xavier, is a showcase of its vast tourism potential.
The locus of the festivity is the street dance parade and competition which depict the various stages of the planting and harvest season.