Vidarbha region is blessed with abundant forest, land and water resources. The fertile black soil and appropriate climatic conditions are favourable for agriculture and yet, the agriculture industry in Vidarbha is not growing in accordance with its potential.
By changing the way we look at agriculture, we’ll realize how diverse the domain actually is.
Agro-tourism is one such field that has a lot of growth potential but hasn’t really been explored much. While it is a popular trend in the western part of Maharashtra, it is still not a common phenomenon in Vidarbha.
While speaking at a day-long workshop organized by Indo-Israel Krishi Vikas Sanstha and Maharashtra Agriculture and Rural Tourism Cooperative Federation (MART) at Maharajbagh Club, the superintending agriculture officer Milind Shende said,"Today's generation needs to be aware of how our food is produced as nearly 60% of the population is dependent on agriculture. Nagpur has the potential to not just become a tourism centre but also a knowledge hub. People are in constant search of interesting places to visit during weekends and agro-tourism will provide them knowledge, and pleasure.”
The aim of the workshop was to reinforce the idea that agriculture and rural tourism can bring good business to farmers.
The event was inaugurated by Shende, former World Bank adviser RB Thakre, regional director of Ignou P Sivaswaroop and regional director of Organic Farming Centre Ajay Rajput.
Image source: timesofindia
According to Rajput, the the farmers in Vidarbha are updated about the changes in agricultural practices and it is time they think diversifying their trade. "It is time to add industrial values to farming to usher in a change," he said, giving examples of initiatives such as 'e-fasal'.
"If done systematically, experiments work. One should learn marketing techniques to know what is in demand. Let's hope that problems faced by the farmers in Yavatmal recently do not occur again."
Talking about the importance of agro-tourism in today’s world, Sivaswaroop said, “Most children today don't know where from milk comes. We have distanced ourselves from nature and that's how agro-tourism can help bring a positive effect."
Experts guided participants on agriculture tourism policy, supplementary industry and various government schemes. The workshop saw a variety of speakers addressing elements of agro-tourism by giving tips and sharing their experiences.
Vivek Suryavanshi, who runs an agro-tourism place close to the Adegaon gate of Bor Tiger Reserve, said, "It was enriching to meet new people and engage in different facets of one concept. It provided a complete picture under one roof and a chance to meet those like us."
Sangeeta Mishra and her family own a piece of land in Chhindwara. Commenting on how the workshop changed her perspective towards the agro-tourism concept, Mishra said, "Earlier, I was sceptical about the idea of agro-tourism. But, over a period of time, I found that it is one of the second best options after farming. This workshop equipped farmers with a lot of information.”
Information source: timesofindia
Cover image source: mekongtourism