Mr Nguyen Van Thai, a member of the Mekong Organics, a researcher of Research Center for Rural Development of An Giang University, participated in the Global Farm Tourism Summit (GFTS) that was held on July 17 – 19, 2018 in the Tagaytay City, Cavite, the Philippines. This summit was hosted and co-funded by the International School of Sustainable Tourism and the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA). He has engaged in discussions on sustainable practices and opportunities in farm tourism; climate-smart far tourism; local organic farming standard; empowering local government units for eco-farm tourism; and country models during the summit. More interestingly, he had an opportunity to visit the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction, which is a farm visit site for all GFTS’s delegates on the last day of the summit.
Furthermore, I am much interested in the ways of promoting climate resilient agriculture practices through the integrated natural farming systems, including upland crops cultivation, livestock and water conservation. To do so, building soil organic matter is an essential step to be resilient to climate change. For instance, cover crops, crop residues and minimal tillage were utilized to enhance organic matter stored in the soil while supporting for biological processes, nutrients and water cycling.
Water harvesting and rainwater management can improve water use and conservation. It is one of the ways to use sufficient water sources during the dry seasons.
Overall, organic farming systems might be one of the livelihoods of smallholders in the Philippines because family farms here are typically small (0.3 – 2 ha on average). Small family farms will be potential to contribute to food supplies; and such integrated farm systems also help to address the uncertain challenges of climate change by growing more trees, using less polluting approaches and integrating farm enterprises.