Phutawen's plantation sets pace for green tourism in Borikhamxay
Locals and international visitors alike are converging upon Borikhamxay's newly-opened Phutawen Farm, a model of clean and tourism-friendly agriculture in the province.
Located in Naxay village of Thaphabath district, Phutawen is one of the biggest such operations in the province and based on some 20 hectares.
Mr Kaipheth Duangpasert ( left ) and Prof. Dr Bosengkham Vongdara inspect the farm.
The farm was officially declared a new tourism site for agriculture and environmental preservation on January 21.
The opening ceremony was attended by Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Prof. Dr Bosengkham Vongdara, deputy ministers and senior officials from the ministry, as well as officials from Borikhamxay province.
Since the opening, it is the sunflowers coming into bloom that has been attracting more and more visitors to the farm, especially on weekends.
A quick visit to their social media page reveals many people posting their own smiling photos amongst the floral feast.
Owner of Phutawen farm Mr Kaipheth Duangpasert told Vientiane Times recently about the farm and his grand plans coming to fruition.
“Our farm will become model of knowledge on clean and sustainable agriculture as well as tourism on agriculture for local and foreign visitors,” he said.
“Our concept is also to be a place for research and practice of innovation in agricultural and horticultural matters including crops and livestock, including with our cows, pigs, fish and more.”
Visitors can see crops such as sunflowers, melon, potatoes, gourds and vegetables as well as other flowers from seedling to production stage, while buying vegetables and meats direct from the farm to take home.
Staff member of the farm Mr Tui said that other activities included overnight camping with a campfire, playing games, a quiz and guitar- sing-a-longs into the night.
“For Valentine Day (February 14), around 70 people joined the camping in our farm.
Campers pay only 130,000kip per person per camp, and discounts for pairs with a price 110,000kip per person.
In addition, joining the camping activities, the entry price also included games, dinner and breakfast, and is inclusive of the regular 10,000kip park entrance fee.
Mr Kaipheth Duangpasert explained that the farm also prioritised clean agriculture to best serve customers and society.
He is currently a building market in Pakngum district as an outlet to sell his products.
The farm also has restaurant and coffee shop for visitors to enjoy some relaxation during visits to the farm, operated by some of the 40 friendly staff members employed on site.
The farm is open Friday-Sunday for casual visitors and tours alike, and accepts bookings for group tours from Monday to Thursday.
According to its mission statement, the farm aims to help to develop communities in the country.
Some 75 percent of population in Laos has a livelihood based on agriculture, yet average incomes and productivity from agriculture sector remain low (accounting for about 20 percent of the GDP).
Therefore, the farm seeks to catalyse positive change in agricultural development to improve living conditions of farmers through the research and facilitating knowledge exchanges.
Meanwhile, green tourism is considered an increasingly important on source of income to help local people and their communities as well as the country as a whole.
Within striking distance of Vientiane, Phutawen is located about one and half hour by car on the Southern Road No 13, crossing Nam Ngum river between Ban Hai Pakngum village of Pakngum district in the capital and Thaphabath district.
To reach the farm, drive on Southern Road No 13 and a few minutes after crossing Pakngum bridge, you will see a sign for Phutawen on right hand side. Turn onto the unsealed red dirt road and driving for about five minutes before coming to the entrance.
By Times Reporters
(Latest Update Febuary 16, 2017)