Panamanian agritourism farm owners trained by Spanish experts

Agritourism has positively impacted Panama, providing added value to farms. Recently, the Ministry of Agricultural Development (MIDA) helped organize the first national conference titled "Strengthening Community Rural Eco-Agritourism: The European Experience", led by two guest speakers from Spain.

For the next 15 days, Severino García and Javier Tejera visited several agritourism farms around the country, where they observed a balance between the protection of nature and use of environmental resources, as well as the resulting boost to both the rural economy and farming families.

They also noted that the farms are implementing good agricultural practices and ranching methods that are sustainable on the long term, such as raising traditional breeds of livestock.

MIDA Vice Minister Gerardino Batista, who attended the closing event of the Spanish delegation's visit, stressed that information, technology, and knowledge are the most important tools in a sustainable business.

Batista stated that a central mission of MIDA's agritourism project is that people continue to produce in the countryside, for food security, while also seeking new alternatives that achieve an economic impact on the farms open to rural tourists.

Europe has over twenty years of experience in agritourism, and in Spain it has been on the rise in the last five years with the launch of over 100 initiatives related to rural tourism, claimed Javier Tejera.

The United Nations Organization for Food and Agriculture (FAO) declared 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming, so it is imperative to fortify activities such as agritourism.

The visit by these Spanish experts was also coordinated by COOSMATUR (Cooperative of Multiple Agritourism Services) and the Alternative Foundation of Panama. We look forward to another visit next year, in order to continue contributing to this activity in our country.