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You are Here :: Agri Tourism


What is Agri Tourism?

Agritourism is leisurely activities in the rural areas that help a person understand and appreciate the land and the people who live on it. In recent years, travel has become much more than just ticking through the mandatory list of local museums and sites.

Travelers want to slow down when they discover a new destination.

They want to meet locals in their natural environments and become more involved with the land they are visiting.

With this in mind, agritourism was born. At its most basic level, agritourism is a style of travel that takes place on a farm or ranch and usually offers the opportunity to help with on-site farming or ranching tasks during the visit. It entails a meaningful visit with a producer of land-based products and services.

Why Agri Tourism?

Mother Nature is open door school without brick walls! If observed carefully one can learn something or the other, moreover India is Agriculturist’s Country, it is expected that we should know the information related to agriculture.

Today urban children’s world has became limited in the closed door school, classes, cartoon programs on the television, video games, chocolates, soft drinks, spicy fast food, computer, internet, and so on, they see mother nature only on television screen.

Now it has become very necessary that children know the traditional way of agricultural farming activities, and other businesses dependant on agriculture. Here children come very close to Mother Nature and learn many new things in life...

Why is Agri Tourism important?

As commercialism and mass production become the standards by which we live, agritourism has given people who work in the agricultural and horticultural sectors a chance to share their work with the masses. Some agritourism experiences allow guests to buy food products grown on the farm or hand-crafted products made by the farmers’ families; purchasing these goods helps provide ranchers who rely on their land with another source of income.

Home and consumer education has given way to technology courses in middle and high schools, and many children grow up without ever really knowing what the countryside is or what it’s like to interact with live farm animals. Agritourism, therefore, gives parents the opportunity to introduce their children to something other than the city life.

Agri Tourism Farms
Agritourism is a style of vacation that normally takes place on a farm, either domestically or abroad. Many people are growing more interested in how their food is produced, or how the population of a foreign country produces food.

Agritourism farms in India offer tours to allow a person to view the growing, harvesting, and processing of locally grown foods, such as corn, coconuts, sugar cane, and pineapple. Often the farmers provide a home-stay opportunity and general education on the workings of the farm.

Children who visit the farms often have not seen a live duck, or Rabbit, and have not picked an apple right off the tree. This form of expanded agritourism has given birth to what are often called entertainment farms. These farms cater to the pick-your-own crowd, offering not only regular farm products, but also food, mazes, open-pen animals, train rides, picnic facilities, and pick-your-own produce.

Agri Tourism Benefits

The potential benefits of agritourism development extend to farmers, rural communities, and tourism operators.

Benefits for Farmers :
For farmers, agritourism is a potential way of :

• expanding farm operations;

• using farm based products in new and innovative ways;

• improving farm revenue streams;

• developing new consumer market niches;

• increasing awareness of local agricultural products;

• increasing appreciation of the importance of maintaining agricultural land;

• channeling additional on-farm revenues directly to family members;

• improving farm living conditions, working areas and farm recreation opportunities;

• developing managerial skill and entrepreneurial spirit; and

• increasing the long term sustainability for farm businesses.
    Benefits for Communities
From a community perspective, agritourism can be a vehicle for :

• generating additional revenue for local businesses and services from tourists;

• upgrading / revitalizing community facilities for residents and visitors;

• increasing protection of rural landscapes and natural environments for tourists and residents;

• helping preserve and revitalize local traditions, art and craft;

• promoting inter-regional, inter-cultural communication and understanding;

• increasing awareness of agricultural issues and values among the public;

• promoting the on-going use of local agricultural products and services;

• helping to diversify and strengthen the rural economy via job and income creation;
v and
• providing a more energetic business environment for attracting other businesses and small industries.
    Benefits for Tourism Operators
From a tourism industry viewpoint, agritourism can be a means of:
• diversifying the mix of tourism products and services available to visitors;

• increasing tourism flows into attractive rural regions;

• increasing season length during traditionally off-peak business periods;

• uniquely positioning rural regions in key tourism markets; and

• bringing more non-local currency to local businesses

Agri Tourism Information

Agritourism travel information includes listings of local convention and visitors bureaus to help you plan your Agrotourism vacation. Agritourism blends entertainment, education, and tourism together to provide a fun, exciting, and memorable get-away for school trips and family outings. Agriculture and tourism together present unique opportunities for farmers to diversify and expand their operations.

Information Resources

An effective Agritourism Resource Centre provides leadership in the development and distribution needed to support the development of competitive agritourism products and services. This information should relate to specific planning, development, and management issues deemed to be particularly important to key stakeholders. An important role of the Centre(s) should be to actively work with its partners to establish these priorities. Research suggests that such information needs relate to several recurring themes. These include:

• understanding agritourist markets and their behaviours

• assessing agritourism’s fit with current farming operations

• improving farm revenue streams;

• dealing with government policies;

• addressing financial considerations;

• establishing effective marketing programs;

• developing customer friendly service programs;

• creating responsive risk management programs;

• establishing credible product and service quality standards;

• building strategic partnerships; and

• managing niche agritourism product development opportunities.

Priority Needs in Agri Tourism

From the survey, it has been able to determine the top five priority needs of those currently engaged in agritourism. They include:

• need help in marketing and promoting their business! (25%)

• need expansion capital (25%)

• need help finding qualified employees (21%)

• insurance issues (19%)

• difficulty obtaining financing (17%)

Scope for Agri Tourism

Agri Tourism has great scope in the present context for the following reasons.
1.An inexpensive gateway:- 
The cost of food, accommodation, recreation and travel is minimum in Agri-

Tourism. This widens the tourist base. Present concept of travel and tourism is limited to urban and rich class which constitute only small portion of the population. However, the concept of Agri-tourism takes travel and tourism to the larger population, widening the scope of tourism due to its cost effectiveness.

2.Curiosity about the farming industry and life style:-
The urban population basically which has roots in
villages always has curiosity about sources of food, plants, animals, raw materials like wood, handicrafts, languages, culture, tradition, dresses and lifestyle. Agri-tourism which revolves around the farmers, villages and agriculture has the capacity to satisfy the curiosity of this segment of population. Agri-tourism provides scope for re-discoursing the rural life which is rich in diversity.

3.Strong demand for wholesome family oriented recreational activities:–
villages provide recreational opportunities to all age groups i.e. children young, middle and old age, male, female, in total to the whole family at cheaper cost. Rural games, festivals, food, dress and the nature provides variety of entertainment to the whole family.

4.Health consciousness of urban population and finding solace with nature friendly means:–
lifestyle has made the life stressful and average life span has comedown. Hence, people are in constant search of pro-nature means to make life more peaceful. Ayerveda which is pro-nature medical approach has roots in villages. Indigenous medical knowledge of villagers is respected. Organic foods are in greater demand in urban areas and foreign countries. In total, health conscious urban population is looking towards pro-nature villages for solutions.

5.Desire for peace and tranquility:-
Modern life is the product of diversified thinking and diversified       activities. Every individual attempts to work more, in different directions to earn more money to enjoy modern comforts. Hence, peace is always out of his system. Tourism is the means for searching peaceful location. Peace and tranquility are inbuilt in Agri-tourism as it is away from urban areas and close to nature.

6.Interest in natural environment:-
Busy urban population is leaning towards nature. Because, natural       environment is always away from busy life. Birds, animals, crops, mountains, water bodies, villages provide totally different atmosphere to urban population in which they can forget their busy urban life.

7.Disillusionment with over crowded resorts and cities:- In resorts and cities, over crowded peace seekers disturb each others peace. Hence, peace is beyond cities and resorts. Even though efforts are made to create village atmosphere in the sub urban areas through resorts, farm houses, it looks like a donkey painted with tiger colour. Artificiality is highlighted and not satisfying.

8.Nostalgia for their roots on the farm:–
Cities are growing at the cost of villages. Villagers are migrating       to cities in search of jobs and seeking comforts of modern life. Hence, yesterday’s villagers are today’s urbanites. Deep in the heart of urbanites lies the love and respect for their ancestors and villages. Hence, visit to villages satisfies their desire. This is also expressed through the hatredness of urbanites to flat culture and love for farmhouses located in the outskirts of cities. Any opportunity to visit villages and spend time with family is dream of any urbanite. But, minimum decent facilities are always problem. Agri-tourism attempts to overcome this problem.

9.Rural recreation:–
Villages provide varieties of recreation to urbanites through festivals and handicrafts.       Villagers (farmers) lifestyle, dress, languages, culture/traditions which always add value to the entertainment. Agriculture environment around farmers and the entire production process could create curiosity among urban taught. Places of agriculture importance like highest crop yielding farm, highest animal yielding farm, processing units, farms where innovations tried add attraction to the tourists. Agriculture products like farm gate fresh market, processed foods, organic food could lure the urban tourists. As result of this Agri-atmosphere in the villages, there is scope to develop Agri-tourism products like Agri-shopping, culinary tourism, pick and own your tree/plot, bed and breakfast, bullock cart riding, camel riding, boating, fishing, herbal walk, rural games and health (Ayurvedic) tourism.

10.Educational value of Agri-Tourism:-
Agri-tourism could create awareness about rural life and knowledge       about agriculture science among urban school childrens. It provides a best alternative for school picnics which are urban based. It provides opportunity for hands on experience for urban college students in Agriculture. It is a means for providing training to future farmers. It would be effectively used as educational and training tool to train agriculture and line department officers. This provides unique opportunity for education through recreation where learning is fun effective and easy. Seeing is believing, doing is learning and most importantly experiences are USP of Agri-tourism.              

Basic Principles of Agri Tourism

Agri Tourism should ensure that some basic principles must be followed.

1.Have something for visitors to see:-
Animals, birds, farms and nature are the few things which Agri-tourism could offer to the tourist to see. Apart from these, culture, dress, festivals and rural games could create enough interest among forest in Agri-tourism.

2.Have something for visitors to do:-
Participating in agricultural operations and swimming, bullock cartriding, camel riding, buffalo riding, cooking and participating in the rural games are the few activities to quote in which tourist can take part and enjoy.

3.Have something for visitors to buy:-
Rural crafts, dress materials, farm gate fresh agriculture products, processed foods are the few items which tourist can buy as memento for remembrance.            

Entertainment in Agri Tourism

Agri-tourism offers the tourist many joyful experiences while living in rural environment. Agri-tourist involvement in milching, harvesting competitions, tree climbing, edible adventure, bullock cart race, buffalo race in wet fields namely Kambala in Karnataka, shooting a coconut target, fishing etc. could generate enormous joy atleast cost. There is enough scope to charge entry fee to farmers, providing feed and accommodation on payment basis and charging the participation of Agri-tourist during rural games would also generate income to the farmers.
Some successful entertainment farming enterprises and techniques in Agri-tourism - International experiences.

Agri-tourism is a viable income generating activities in many developed counties which would provide lead to promote the same with modifications suiting to our conditions. They are:

• Arts & Crafts Demonstrations.
• Farm Store : Exhibition of farm equipments
• Roadside Stand selling fresh farm products and craft items
• Processing of farm products and sale
• Demonstration of Agri-activities
• Sheep Shearing.
• Wool Processing.
• Fee fishing / hunting.
• Farm Vacations.
• Bed and Breakfast
• Farm Tours.
• Horseback Riding.
• Camping.
• Bad weather - like desert, snow fields, heavy rainfall also attract Agri-tourists
• Picnic Grounds.
• A shady spot for visitors to rest – like a big baniyan tree
• Educational Tours for school children, officers and progressive farmers
• Farm Schools to teach a particular skill
• Outdoor Schools which are mobile in nature teaching agriculture
• Herb Walks.
• Workshops on interesting, emerging agriculture topics
• Festivals with wide publicity and sponsorship
• Cooking Demos to satisfy housewives.
• Pick-Your-own Pumpkin Patch.
• Rent –an – apple tree.
• Moonlight activities.
• Pageants.
• Speakers who can attract Agro-tourist narrating Agricultural experiences.
• Regional Themes like tribal coffee of Kerala, Andaman spices etc
• Crop Art.
• Pizza Farm.
• Historical Recreations like highlighting a oldest farm etc.
• Log Buildings.
• Antique Villages.
• Collection of old farm Machinery.
• Miniature Village.
• Farm Theme Playground for Children.
• Fantasyland.
• Gift Shop.
• Antiques.
• Crafts.
• Crafts Demonstrations.
• Food Sales.
• Lunch Counter.
• Cold Drinks.
• Restaurant.
• Theme

Important Factors for Agri Tourism

There are various important factors which contribute to the success of Agri Tourism.

1.Farmer :
Majority of the cases, farmer is less educated, less exposed and innocent. For farmer, any outsider is a guest and treated wholeheartedly without any commercial motive. Treating guest is pleasure for them than pain. He entertains the guest while entertaining himself in the process. He is not like an exploitative natured businessman which itself facilitate a clean tourism atmosphere.

   2.Village :
Village, which is located far from the city lacks urban facilities, but blessed with natural resources. The investment is made by nature in the form of water bodies, fields, forest, mountains, deserts and islands. Community is more homogenous and treating a guest is part of their culture rather than a profession leading to natural environment required for urban tourist.

3.Agriculture :
      Rich resources in agriculture namely land, water and plants are unique from place to place bringing diversity and creating curiosity. Each field is unique which adds to the attraction of tourists.

The way of cultivation and the products are great attraction to the urban population. Indigenous knowledge of rural people is a wealth, which adds to novelty and curiosity of urban population. Combination of farmer, village and agriculture create a wonderful situation which provides unlimited satisfaction to the tourist specially from urban areas.