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Farm Ridge is an agri-tourism business effectively managed and operated by Desmond Farm and Partners Inc. (DFPI), which encompasses various stakeholders, including farmers in need of land to work on, as well as shareholders and investors, particularly overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) seeking business ventures that will allow them to return home to their families in the Philippines. Recognizing the need to accommodate stakeholders visiting the farm, DFPI has constructed guest houses, which were opened to the public, and are now known as Farm Ridge. Farm Ridge provides a picturesque setting and serves as a catalyst for transformation as it has provided employment and business opportunities to numerous local residents, enabling them to have a source of income. In addition, Farm Ridge's support has enabled DFPI to secure funds necessary for sustaining the eco-friendly cacao plantation, considering that cacao crops require considerable time before they generate earnings.
Farm Ridge contributes to the achievement of UN's Sustainable Development Goal Number 9, which is industry, innovation, and infrastructure, as the agri-guesthouses have been carefully and ecologically constructed using lightweight materials to minimize the use of trees while still maintaining an attractive appearance amidst the picturesque setting of Pantabangan. It has also fostered valuable partnerships for goals (UN's Sustainable Development Goal Number 17) mainly through the collaboration between local farmers and predominantly overseas Filipino worker investors. Farm Ridge fulfills the UN's Sustainable Development Goal Number 7 of affordable and clean energy, and Number 13 climate action, by utilizing solar energy as part of its energy source.
Farm Ridge prioritizes fostering synergy between local farmers needing land to cultivate and overseas Filipino workers seeking profitable business ventures, thereby contributing to the UN's Sustainable Development Goal 17 of partnerships for goals.
Farm Ridge's guesthouses are located in Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija, overlooking the mountain range of Sierra Madre and Pantabangan Lake. Every individual who has had the opportunity to visit the farm has witnessed the extraordinary splendor of nature and comprehended the significance of promoting and supporting diverse agricultural practices. DFPI, the corporation that manages Farm Ridge, has recognized the significant opportunity to introduce agriculture to people, particularly the younger generation, and enable them to appreciate the magnificence of nature. Those fortunate enough to have experienced a visit to the farm can attest to the breathtaking beauty of nature and have gained a deep understanding of the importance of promoting and supporting various agricultural practices.
Farm Ridge strives to promote UN's Sustainable Development Goal Number 7 of affordable and clean energy and Number 13 climate action, through utilization of solar energy as part of energy source. Additionally, Farm Ridge prioritizes sourcing construction materials and beautification supplies from nearby businesses, ensuring their operations' benefits extend to the broader community. The constructed agri-guesthouses are a testament to Farm Ridge's contribution to UN's Sustainable Development Goal Number 9, which is industry, innovation, and infrastructure, as these agri-guesthouses are a result of innovative creativity in the agricultural industry.
Engr Elmer Atun Jr., a farmer's son, has previously worked as an overseas Filipino worker in Qatar and now leads Farm Ridge. Recognizing the importance of providing land and fair compensation to farmers and understanding the challenges faced by overseas Filipino workers supporting their families, Engr. Atun ventured into the agricultural business. Most investors in Farm Ridge are overseas Filipino workers seeking profitable ventures to return home to their families eventually.
As Engr. Atun started on farming in Pantabangan, he was amazed by the beauty of nature and recognized the opportunity for farm tourism. He said, "Nakita natin na may opportunity din sa farm tourism dahil napakaganda ng view dito, yan po ay natural, God’s creation, ang Diyos na nag open sa atin, kung ano ang gagawin natin, (kung) i-improve natin ay nasa atin na yun kung magamit natin ang opportunity." (We saw the opportunity in farm tourism, as Pantabangan has a picturesque setting, that is God's creation, it is God who already opened the opportunity for us, it is already up to us if we will utilize that opportunity).
Engr Atun, as a business leader, embraces the values of unity and shared prosperity, expressed in his belief of "Dapat sabay-sabay aangat. Walang maiiwan." (We should all rise together. No one must be left behind). This vision is evident in the Farm Ridge project. Mr. Atun strongly advocates for equal opportunities for farmers and stakeholders, including investors. He firmly believes that every individual involved in the agricultural business should have a fair chance to benefit from their hard work and investments. By promoting this principle of equality, Mr. Atun aims to create a sustainable and inclusive environment where all participants can thrive and achieve their financial goals. Mr. Atun has always valued shared collaboration. At Desmond Farm, he has learned the strategy of leading with care, recognizing that by caring for the farmers, they reciprocate the care and foster a strong relationship.
President Atun advocates for responsible tourism and the preservation of nature. He shares the desire to showcase the beauty of Pantabangan to society, prioritizing the care and appreciation of the natural environment that Farm Ridge has.
Farm Ridge's impact has heightened people's awareness of shared prosperity through the collaborative synergy between farmers and Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). "Yung mga farmers natin, sila yung nag-dedevelop (ng lupa), nag-tatanim, sa tulong yan ng mga investors natin who are mostly OFWs." (The farmers are the ones who develop and work on the land, that is through the help of our investors who are mostly Overseas Filipino Workers), Mr. Atun shared. This partnership serves as an inspirational example, highlighting the pivotal role of collaboration in achieving inclusive growth.
It is admirable that Farm Ridge's synergy has produced agricultural creativity. "Nakita namin na may opportunity sa farm tourism dahil nakapakaganda ng view dito...Inopen din (namin) ang farm tourism as additional income, para naman dito sa aming farm business." (We saw the opportunity for farm tourism because of the picturesque setting here...We opened up the agri-guesthouses to the public, as additional income, part of which will be used to support the farming aspect of the business), Mr Atun quoted.
The promotion of responsible farming practices by Farm Ridge has also served as a source of inspiration for many farmers. The farm has encouraged others to adopt similar practices by showcasing sustainable and environmentally-friendly farming methods, leading to a positive ripple effect within the agricultural community.
Farm Ridge's influence extends beyond the immediate collaboration between farmers and Overseas Filipino Workers. It has inspired a broader understanding of shared prosperity, promoted responsible farming practices, and contributed to the economic growth of both stakeholders and the local Pantabangan community
Farm Ridge has successfully attracted investors, predominantly Overseas Filipino Workers, who invest in land. This land is diligently cultivated by local farmers, with a portion designated for constructing guesthouses. This symbiotic arrangement ensures that both the investors and farmers reap the benefits.
By investing in land, Overseas Filipino Workers not only secure profitable ventures but also contribute to the growth of the local economy. The farmers, in turn, are provided with a valuable opportunity to utilize their skills and generate income through agricultural activities on the acquired land. This collaboration fosters a mutually beneficial relationship, creating a win-win situation for all parties involved.
Farm Ridge's expansion and development have also generated employment opportunities for the local community. These opportunities offer stable sources of income and contribute to the area's economic well-being. By providing jobs to the locals, Farm Ridge plays a vital role in fostering economic growth, reducing unemployment, and enhancing the overall quality of life within the community.
Through its innovative business model, Farm Ridge exemplifies how collaboration between investors, farmers, and the local workforce can create a sustainable and prosperous agricultural enterprise. The harmonious partnership not only ensures financial gains but also promotes community development. Indeed, Farm Ridge has bridged the Farmers' livelihood and the Overseas Filipino Workers' aspirations.
Farm Ridge's establishment has sparked a flourishing agri-tourism industry in Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija, setting a standard for other businesses in the area to aspire to. Its magnetic appeal has attracted tourists from different parts of the Philippines, resulting in substantial revenue generation for the stakeholders involved.
Farm Ridge has also played a crucial role in providing farmers with a reliable source of income. Engr Atun said,"Kung papabayaan natin ang mga farmers, bigyan natin sila ng lupa, at hindi naman nila kaya i-finance...so nagkaroon tayo ng innovation, or idea na i-meet natin ang mga needs, so kailangan natin ng mga partners na meron din silang kakayahan na mag-bigay ng support financially." (Farmers need financing, we cannot just turn a blind eye on them...so we came up with an innovation or idea to meet their needs, we needed partners who can support them financially). Through Farm Ridge, both the farmers and OFW investors had the opportunity to earn.
In addition to its contributions to the tourism sector, Farm Ridge has been instrumental in creating employment opportunities for local residents, providing them with a dependable source of income. The support extended by Farm Ridge has enabled DFPI to secure the necessary funds to sustain their eco-friendly cacao plantation, recognizing the time required for cacao crops to yield earnings.
Farm Ridge's influence extends beyond its role in agri-tourism and revenue generation; it actively contributes to the local economy by creating employment opportunities. Additionally, Farm Ridge has partnered with a local cacao processor in Davao, resulting in income generation and the establishment of valuable alliances. "Nakipag-partner tayo sa processor na nasa Davao, na nag pro-produce ng chocolates, doon pa lang ay meron na rin tayong income" (We partnered with cacao processor in Davao, producing chocolates, just from there we already have an income), Mr. Atun shared. Farm Ridge serves as a living testament to the many opportunities arising from business synergy.
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Engr. Elmer Atun Jr., President
Founded in 2021, Farm Ridge is an agriculture and farm tourism destination in Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija. It is effectively managed and operated by Desmond Farm and Partners Inc. (DFPI) and encompasses various stakeholders seeking business ventures that will allow them to return home to their families in the Philippines.