Spurring the Rural Economy
Harnessing the full potential of the countryside to ensure food security,
achieve environmental sustainability, and drive economic opportunity.
Shared Vision, Mutual Accountability
In low-income countries such as the Philippines, investment in agriculture has been proven to have a greater impact on poverty reduction than in any other sector. This is because it offers the most direct way for rural workers to benefit from their main assets: land and labor.
Development cooperation focusing on rural development is a very important component for poverty reduction for the following reasons:
- Over a third of the rural inhabitants in the Philippines are poverty-stricken.
- Urban poor are mainly migrant workers and farmers who came from rural areas.
- Improved rural areas present a safety net against the lack of job opportunities in cities.
To achieve a realistic and sustainable country-wide development, the agriculture sector must build on the efforts of the government and strengthen its programs to simultaneously deliver food security, environmental sustainability, and economic opportunity through a coordinated effort by all stakeholders.
The key success factors of the agriculture-sector at the national level include setting the right direction through effective leadership, strategy and investment models, and scaling the transformation through finance, infrastructure, institutions, and monitoring based on a shared vision.
The scope of the challenge is large and complex, with many overlapping and interlinked issues that cut across sectors, geographies, and players. Interdependent stakeholders must take action together to develop solutions at scale. The programs and efforts MUST:
- Be owned and driven by a commitment to strengthen the agricultural sector
- Support the country’s national direction guided by shared goals and collaborative consultation among relevant stakeholders
- Build trust and alignment of core competencies among partner agencies while ensuring mutual accountability
- Holistic, integrating full value chains that benefit all players in the agricultural system
The Country Experience
Rural tourism can be defined as the “country experience” which covers a wide range of attractions and activities that take place in agricultural or non-urban areas. Its elemental features include wide-open spaces, low levels of tourism development, and opportunities for visitors to directly experience agricultural and natural environments.
It also includes farm-based holidays, special interest nature holidays and ecotourism, walking, climbing and riding holidays, adventure, sport and health tourism, hunting and angling, educational travel, arts, and heritage tourism, and, in some areas, ethnic tourism, and most notably, agritourism, which involves visiting a working farm or any agricultural, horticultural or agribusiness operation for the purpose of enjoyment, education, or active involvement in the activities of the farm or operation.
Potentially rural tourism promises some of the following benefits to rural development: 1) job creation and job retention; 2) new business opportunities and opportunities for the youth; 3) community pride and diversification; 4) preservation of rural culture and heritage; and 5) landscape conservation and environmental improvement.
There is evidence to support the claim that, as a vehicle of economic growth and diversification, tourism can make an important contribution to rural incomes both at the level of the tourism operators and more widely in the local economy.
- Natural resources, agricultural and non-agricultural
- Human resources (quality and quantity)
- Infrastructure (physical infrastructure, transport and communication, social infrastructure, spatial order)
- Institutions and organizations (government agencies and services, people’s organization)
Working with People
- Pattern of social organization (values, social stratification mobility, power structure land tenure system)
- Economic structure (agricultural production structure, industry, market relations, etc,);
- Technology in agriculture and in the non-agricultural sector
- Services (marketing, credit extension, social security)
- Education and training (formal and informal)