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By Nazario Rodgriquez

KOROR, Palau (Marianas Variety, Feb. 13) – Travel agents and Governors in Palau have thrown their full support to the Agro-Tourism Project at Nekken Farm being pushed by the Taiwan Technical Mission.

Representatives from Palau International Tours, IMPAC Tours expressed similar enthusiasm on how they would re-arrange their schedules of their guests to accommodate the program during a discussion in Wednesday’s agro-tourism demonstration in Nekken, Aimeliik.

Also making their present felt were Tova Bornovski of Fish and Fins, Belau Tourism Association Executive Director Leilanie Reklai and representatives from the Palau Visitors Authority.

The State Governors present were Demei Obak (Aimeliik), Jackson Ngiraingas (Peleliu), Yositaka Adachi (Koror), John Skebong (Ngaremlengui), Laurentino Ulechong (Ngaraard), Akiko Sugiyama (Ngardmau), Damien Albis (Sonsorol), Edwin Chokai (Kayangel), Lazarus Kodep (Melekeok) and Browny Salvador (Ngarchelong). Ngatpang Executive Officer Francesca Otong was also present and Aimeliik Dlegate Kalistus Ngirturong.

The special guests were Taiwan Ambassador Mathew S. Lee and Minister Fritz Koshiba.

Koshiba said that the demonstration proved as an important ingredient to the tourism industry adding that the women in Aimeliik and Ngatpang are the backbone of Agriculture in Palau.

Koshiba said that the administration placed agriculture on top of the priority list.

Ambassador Lee said that agriculture cooperation and tourism are two fields that make Palau and Taiwan brothers.

Lee said that for the past three years, Taiwan tourists’ ranked number one, contributing to the economic growth and development of Palau.

Lee said that in the past five years under the leadership of Dr. Ming-Lii Hseu, the TTM has inspired many ideas to upgrade agriculture in Palau.

The Agro-Tourism project, he said, is the latest venture on environmental protection and economic development, by first helping farmers to develop new market and second to educate tourist to better understand Palauan culture, art and history.

"Everyone knows the magnificence of Palau at sea. The goal now is to share the wonders of Palau on land," Lee said.

He said that the Agro-tourism project would not be possible without the joint venture of all travel agencies.

Hseu made presentations on the objectives of the project, which is to showcase the local culture to tourists such as the rest house, weaving in the traditional way, sculpture, food and other products.

Nekken Farm is envisioned to be a one-stop shop for these products for the tourists to enjoy what the locals have to offer them.

During the demonstration, Chelauesachel Farm of Aimeliik State presented a total of 15 products such as Ongraol (pound taro with coconut syrup, fried taro, fried rice), soup (taro leaves with coconut), dessert (taro stem ice cream, coconut candy), varieties of Odoim, salad, drinks.

Menu from the Ngatpang State included nine kinds of Ongraol—like boiled tapioca, grinded tapioca with sweetened coconut milk, steamed tapioca, tapioca sushi etc; five dessert—like tapioca chips, charcoaled tapioca; eight kinds of Odoim like tapioca leaf soup, tapioca noni chicken soup, kim sashimi; Diokang Salad and drinks.

TTM served five kinds of Noni products like wine, vinegar, jam, and juice and dried; the wines included taro, star fruit, guava, football, banana and papaya.

There were concerns about the rough road going to the area but Min. Koshiba promised to fix it in the soonest possible way.

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