Today is our last day in Sarawak, Borneo and what an incredible couple of week it's been. I was invited to speak at the Sarawak Agrotourism Conference, an international conference with 22 speakers from all over Australasia.
Sarawak is at the start of its agritourism journey. The government is right behind the development of this exciting sector for farmers to diversify and develop sustainable and regenerative businesses. Their support will be an important part to move the sector forward.
It was so interesting to hear speakers from a wide range of backgrounds; from scientists to university professors, from professionals in this field to farmers and government officials.
And it was fantastic to finally meet in person the people I have been meeting on zoom at online conferences and at committee meetings for the Global Agritourism Network such as Pandurang Taware who has achieved amazing results in developing agritourism in India, and John Stanley.
Borneo is an island twice the size of NZ. About a quarter is Malaysian, a very small part is Brunei and the largest part is Indonesian.
The people are incredibly friendly, always smiling. The food is amazing (we love eating in villages, check out the video below), nature and wildlife are beautiful. No overtourism in this part, in most places we were the only westerners.
We stayed around the Kuching area (incl. Mt Santubong) for the whole time. Personally, I really like the idea to 'live like a local' and really get to know one place well rather than rush from one sight to another. We explored farmers markets, local food, hikes in the rainforest on the lookout for wildlife (saw probiscus monkeys, orang utangs, lizzards, spiders, Irrawaddy dolphins, crocodiles, lots of butterflies and more..
It's been an amazing experience and I'd like to thank and congratulate Nor Azmi Sulong and his team from Derrisen, the conference organiser, for this highly professionally organised event.
I look forward to seeing how agritourism in this beautiful part of the world will develop and benefit farmers here.
We'll be back!