1st International Agriculture and Tourism Expo (IATE)

Experience agriculture and tourism at its best at the much-awaited 1st International Agriculture and Tourism Expo (IATE) from June 30 to July 2, 2011 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.
The first of its kind in the country, the 3-day expo offers an avenue for learning as it brings together world-class experts to conduct awareness campaigns and seminars on the latest agricultural and tourism innovations and trends in the global market.

“The potential of the Philippine economy to grow as a result of developing these two major industries: Agriculture and Tourism prompted the organization of this event. Mainly, the expo intends to make people aware of this knowledge and provide the necessary opportunities for learning, building partnerships, encouraging investments and promoting the Philippines as an agri-tourist destination,” said Kenneth Dong, president of A-Linx Events International, Inc., the official organizer of the IATE.

Dong revealed that the expo will be a fun learning experience which will showcase the pride of Philippine agriculture and tourism though an interesting line-up of events and exhibits.
The first day of the expo on June 30 will start off with the grand opening ceremonies at 9a.m. to be led by representatives from A-Linx and the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP). The Chairman of the Committee on Agriculture, Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, will grace the occasion as guest of honor and keynote speaker.

Presentations from Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) and Philippine Agricultural Development & Commercial Corporation (PADCC) are scheduled at 1p.m. to be followed by a seminar on Best Practices on Conservation, Community Social Responsibility and Sustainable Tourism – The Philippine Initiative to be conducted by Susan Santos de Cardenas from Tokyo, Japan.

The first day of July and second day of the expo will be greeted with a presentation from Universal Robina Corporation and a seminar on Climate Change Awareness by the Sagip Buhay Foundation, Inc. Keynote Speaker for the morning will be Senator Loren Legarda, Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs.

The expo will resume in the afternoon with presentations from Planters Products Inc. and Livestock Development Council. Local Government Units will be recognized for their achievements during the Awarding of Best Practices and Innovations in Agriculture, Agri-Tourism and Tourism to be presented by A-Linx representatives alongside the President of LMP and Mayor of Bacoor, Honorable Edwin Mortel “Strike” Revilla.

“We came up with the awards to recognize the exemplary efforts of LGUs that have implemented projects in promoting agricultural productivity and tourism development in different regions in the country,” Dong said, adding that this move will encourage other LGUs to rise to the challenge and maximize their own potentials in the said fields.

Senator Manuel “Lito” Lapid, Chairman of the Committee on Tourism, will address the audience as keynote speaker for the afternoon.

The expo not only aims to recognize achievements in the fields of agriculture and tourism but also gives importance in building strong networks among Filipinos. It provides a chance to bring government agencies closer to the people and facilitate greater partnerships. The Grand Fellowship Party offers such opportunity just before the day comes to an end. Good company, live bands, games, raffles, freebies and food make the best recipe for a night of enjoyment and camaraderie.

Dubbed the 1st International Agriculture & Tourism Expo (IATE), the three-day event hopes to draw some 20,000 local visitors and 1,000 foreign visitors. It will also gather some 400 product exhibitors.

The Agri-Tourism Expo will showcase the state of the country’s agriculture and tourism industries and where they are going through a series of awareness campaigns, learning seminars, product exhibits and cultural performances.

The Expo intends to promote Philippine agri-tourism programs of the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Tourism to the international and local markets.

Among the Expo’s objectives is to support the government’s efforts at generating sustainable economic growth and development through agriculture and tourism.

At the same time the Expo hopes to attract more tourists and investors to the country so that it will create employment and income opportunities to Filipinos.

Kenneth Dong, president of A-Linx Events International Inc., an events management company which organized the Expo, cited the amazing growth of travel and tourism industry worldwide, a phenomenon that will also boost tourism in the Philippines.

“People all over the world continue to seek new attractions and greater adventures,” Dong said, adding that this growing demand saw the emergence of “agri-tourism.”

Agri-tourism, a combination of the words agriculture and tourism, Dong said, refers to travel to rural farm area for leisure, education, or active involvement in agricultural activities.

He said that agri-tourism has been gaining global popularity even as it offers new and exciting experience to tourists with a wide-range of activities, including tending to farm animals, planting, harvesting and processing of farm products.

The Department of Agriculture and the Department of Tourism have given their support to the Expo. Several big organizations and businesses also gave their endorsements. Among them were the Pork Producers Federation of the Philippines, National Federation of Hog Farmers,Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce (Phils.), Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association, Philippine Sugar Millers Association, Technology Resource Center, the Department of Agriculture’s attached agencies, Local Government Units, League of Municipalities of the Philippines, Philippine Travel Agencies Association, the Universal Robina Corporation, Foremost Farms Inc., Pfizer, Philippine Planters Products and Univet Nutrition & Animal Healthcare Co.

Attached agencies of the Department of Tourism and the Department of Agriculture are also lending their support. Among them are the Bureau of Agricultural Research, Philippine Agricultural Development & Commercial Corporation, Bureau of Animal Industry, Livestock Development Council, National Dairy Authority, Philippine Carabao Center, National Meat Inspection Service, Bureau of Plant Industry, Philippine Rice Research Institute, Philippine Center for Postharvest Development & Mechanizations, Philippine Agrarian Reform Foundation National Development, Philippine Fisheries Development Authority, Philippine Crop & Insurance Co. and the Bureau of Soils & Water Management.

Key senators have also endorsed the Expo. among them were Sen. Kiko Pangilinan, chairman of Agriculture Committee; Senator Manuel Lapid, chairman of Tourism Committee; Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri, chairman of Cooperatives Committee; Sen. Loren Legarda, chairman of Foreign Affairs; Sen. Edgardo Angara, chairman on Education Committee; and Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., chairman of Local Governments Committee.

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