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Agri-Tourism: Potential and Challenges

What is Agri-tourism?

1. It is a form of tourism, which involves agriculture-based operation that brings visitors to the farms.

2. It is where agriculture meets tourism and there is certainly learning along with leisure and vacation.

3. It gives the tourist an opportunity to experience the real, enchanting and authentic contact with rural life, taste the local cuisine and get familiar with the various farming tasks during the visit.

4. It helps a child especially the urban child to understand and appreciate the traditional way of farming, milk production, etc.

5. It offers products like Farmer’s market, Pick your own product, Savour, local flavor, Participation, Experience of Rural Life.

How will it increase farmer’s income?

1. Farm operations will be expanded so as to create an interest in the tourist.

2. Farm products will be used in an innovative way.

Example: Tourist place of Mahabaleshwar, a “see-through glass” enclosure is set up through which the tourist is able to see how various fruit juices are prepared.

3. It creates an improved farm living conditions, working areas, and farm recruitment opportunities.

4. It develops new consumer niches by selling farm products directly.

5. A museum can be set up where the farming equipment is demonstrated and the tourist gains knowledge of the evolution of these equipment over the years.

Which are the benefits of agri-tourism?

1. Generates additional revenue for local business and services from the tourist.

2. Upgrades and revitalizes community facilities for the residents and visitors.

3. Helps in preserving local traditions, art forms, and culture.

4. Helps in diversifying and strengthening the rural economy through job creation.

5. Empower the women in villages.

6. Interaction with the urban tourist could also help in reducing the impact of social ills like superstitions etc.

Where are the challenges in implementing agri-tourism?

1. Quality and complexity of services.

2. Cooperation amongst the stakeholders such as farmers, medical facilities, transportation network, safety aspects, media and communication, government, etc.

3. Raising public awareness.

These challenges can be met by diversifying the agricultural business into Agri-tourism and creating a strategy at national and state levels such as:

            A) Proper recognition of Agri-tourism industry

            B) Government supported policy structure

            C) Education of the farmer

            D) Creating a community level cooperative

            E)  Interest-free loans to cooperatives

            F)  Timely delivery of services