In a new initiative labelled as Agri Tourism, Rajasthan Government is preparing to host tourists on fields to provide a complete hands-on farming experience. The initiative will introduce agriculture tourism in the state, developing both food parks and encouraging farmers to develop their farm fields.
Linking the tourism sector to agriculture has the ability to rejuvenate and inject resources for both sectors. Agri tourism will give tourists an attractive option to witness farming activities and learn more about rural way of life.Visitors will receive direct exposure and taste of rural life with stay on farm fields. For farmers it will be a source to generate additional income.
Brief about Agri Tourism:
Agri tourism is the incorporation of tourism with agriculture. It promotes agriculture and allied activities as a tourism product and incorporates an operational farm along with a commercial tourism element.
The concept of Agri tourism was initiated and developed in Europe and North America and has since spread in many countries. In India it was initiated in 2005 at Malegaon village, near Baramati, Maharashtra by Agri Tourism Development Company (ATDC).
Activities planned/takenup by Rajasthan Government:
- Agri-tourism is being promoted in Mega Food Park at Roopnagar in Ajmer. The park provides facilities for visiting organic farms and learn about different agriculture practices and produce. Government is planning to open up four more facilities. However they will be on public private partnership.
- Government is also considering developing similar visits in orange fields of Jhalawar & Sri Ganganagar, where tourist can see citrus fruits plants, taste them and understand the processing of fruits.
- Agri Tourism will also be promoted in upcoming Global Rajasthan Agritech Meet (GRAM).
- Other activities like cow milking, cooking food on rural chulha’s made of mud, learning basic rural handicrafts also have potential of developing tourism in villages.
The development of agri tourism can not only helped farmers to hedge their risks from normal farming activities and increase revenues, but also improve their lifestyles.