Revving up ‘agropolis’ living in PHL

LEADING real-estate company Damosa Land Inc. (DLI) has officially launched its multibillion-peso mixed-use development project called the “Agriya,” which is envisioned to become an agricultural metropolis or “agropolis” that will soon sprout in the fertile land of Davao.

Spanning at a total of 88 hectares, this idyllic township will have, in its 40-hectare initial phase, a 9-hectare residential, 24-hectare commercial, 9-hectare agritourism and another 9-hectare institutional component.

“So, basically, what Agriya is, it’s a master-planned community, whose central theme is agriculture. And I think that’s something that will really set us apart from a lot of other master-planned projects that you can find all over the country,” DLI First Vice President (FVP) Ricardo F. Lagdameo said during their kickoff event held at the project’s site in Panabo City, Davao del Norte.

“No one is really focusing on agriculture. And we figured that with our agricultural expertise and background, that it would only be fitting that a group such as ours would undertake this project,” he added.

This first agritourism city in Mindanao and in the Davao region comes at an opportune time when farm tourism is widely pushed and propagated all over the Philippines. In fact, a total of 203 farm tourism sites has been already accredited by the Department of Tourism (DOT) as of December 2019, and still counting.

“It’s a noble thing what you are doing here at Agriya, highlighting the merits and importance of agriculture for a great number of people right in the community where they live and work,” keynoted Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat.

“Congratulations to Damosa Land as you launch this insightful forward-thinking project. I wish nothing but the best for this laudable endeavor—one that shares the DOT’s dream of a better tomorrow for all Filipinos,” she said.

Vibrant community

AGRIYA is a breath of fresh air in township development in the country today, such that it provides contemporary-designed dwellings yet grounded in the culture and vibe of its countryside location.

“What we envision here [is] it would be a green, walkable, livable community that your family can grow with,” Lagdameo said.

Its residential village called “Ameria” offers future residents 177 house and lots that boast of wide-open areas that provide not only living spaces but also their own backyards.

They can choose from house models, namely, Acacia, Aurora, Bougainvillea, Caballero, Jasmine, Magnolia, and Molave, with floor areas from 52 square meters to 232 sq m, as well as lot areas from 204 sq m to 450 sq m. Price range is between P6 million to P15 million

This gated low-density community has top-notch amenities, such as a central clubhouse with a multipurpose hall, playground and a swimming pool. Also, it has provisions for water cistern to ensure constant supply of water.

Ameria has a big allocation of more than 6,000 sq m for open parks, playgrounds and community garden patches. To achieve exclusivity and privacy, it’s generously landscaped setback from the main road.

“To date, we’re close to 40 percent sold out already,” he said of the take up on the house and lots since they started preselling them in October of 2019. “We’re hoping to be sold out 100 percent within the year.”

Depending on the buyers’ readiness to move in, this high-end residential project will commence construction of houses by end of 2020. DLI considers to build two more additional subdivisions to offer a rare opportunity for investors to own a piece of the country’s “Food Basket” that is Mindanao, particularly Davao.

Making agriculture sexy again

UNLIKE other conventional mixed-use projects out there, progressive agriculture takes center stage at Agriya. It also opens doors to a bright future for other industries like tourism.

“Why agriculture? For us, it’s really a way of having a project that’s really relevant to the region, especially here in Panabo City. And again, we have to do our part in giving importance to agriculture, or as we always like to say, ‘Let’s try to make agriculture sexy again.’ So this is one way of doing it through real estate and through tourism. So it is possible to promote agriculture through other kinds of industries and different kinds of means,” the FVP explained.

Championing sustainability via urban farming, the township has in-house agriculturists that will educate its residents on backyard farming and showcase the region’s wealthy produce, such as banana, high-value crops and aquaculture.

“It’s becoming such a trend nowadays. People want to know where their food is from. They want to eat healthy. They want to eat things that are not pumped with steroids and chemicals, and things like that. So we think that moving forward, that’s really going to be the trend of how people eat,” Lagdameo said.

For people to appreciate more of agriculture, Agriya’s theme park called “Naturetainment” will equip tourists a real and firsthand take on it, stimulating a sense of adventure and imbibing to children its significance.

According to him, this the first township project for DLI that boasts the province’s vast agriculture industry. As the company anchors it with tourism, the top executive noted of its objective to beef up its position as a developer that innovates the real-estate sector via its heritage and technology, and improving the lives of the community.

Nurturing minds, cultivating commerce

APPARENTLY, DLI always takes care of the future of its residents and locators across all its development projects.

As such, Agriya will be the home of the country’s premier agricultural institution, the University of the Philippines-Professional School for Agriculture and the Environment (UP-PSAE). This will offer agricultural courses to potential students and granting them lucrative professions in the future.

The homegrown developer is donating around 3 hectares of the total land area of the property to the UP-PSAE for the construction of its campus, housing multiple classrooms, auditorium and other structures, such as greenhouses, laboratories, and more. Construction of the first building will begin in the second quarter of this year.

In a couple of years, a commercial arcade of this agropolis will be built, with a variety of dining places, retail shops and a boutique hotel for the tourists.

“What we hope to achieve over the next few years is we want to see a thriving community that the city can be proud of. We want this to be a tourism destination that can really bring more tourists to Panabo City, and to continue to help the city to grow. And I think, most of all, what we want to see here is that we continue our group’s vision and legacy of uplifting the lives of the people and the communities here in Mindanao, which is something that we’ve been doing for over 70 years now,” Lagdameo stressed.

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