03 Sep 2022
GS Paper 3
Day 55: Agri-tourism could be thought of as the crossroads of tourism and agriculture. Elucidate the given statement. (250 Words)
- Describe Agri-tourism.
- Discuss the scope of Agri tourism.
- Explain the significance of Agri tourism.
- Conclude suitably.
Planet, people, and profit are three important factors in sustainable businesses and the development paradigm. In search of sustainability, agriculture and rural ecosystem services remain a greenfield without much depreciation or value erosion, notably Agri-tourism.
Agri-tourism can be defined as a form of commercial enterprise that links agricultural production and/or processing with tourism to attract visitors onto a farm, ranch, or other agricultural business for the purposes of entertaining and/or educating the visitors while generating income.
Agri-tourism could be thought of as the crossroads of tourism and agriculture. It is a non-urban hospitality product, serving an agrarian lifestyle, culture and heritage with an abundance of natural resources. Agri-tourism has gained traction in the tourism industry.
Examples: Wine/vineyard tours, Glamping/camping, Quad biking, Horse riding, Fruit/flower picking, Volunteer tourism, Animal farms parks/safari parks, staying in a homestay located on a farm, Farm tours, educational visits, Relaxation retreats, Hunting trips, Rural weddings/events, Farmer’s markets, Mazes, Bird and wildlife watching etc.
Growth Rate Scenario of the Industry:
- Agri-tourism is a niche and an emerging market segment of the tourism industry. Agri-tourism market globally was valued at $42.46 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach $62.98 billion by 2027, registering a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 13.4% between 2020 and 2027.
- The seeds of agri-tourism in India were first sown by the formation of the Agri Tourism Development Corporation (ATDC) located at Baramati in Maharashtra.
- The ATDC was founded in 2004 by Pandurang Taware, an entrepreneur from the farming community.
- Currently, India’s revenue from agri-tourism is growing at an annual growth rate of 20%.
- In India, Dewalokam Farm stay Retreat, Vanilla County, Kottayam, Kerala; Konyak Tea Retreat, Mon District, Nagaland, Maachli, Sindhudurg, Nagaland; Enchanted Forest Farm, Gangtok, Sikkim etc are some of the agri tourist spots.
Significance of Agri Tourism:
- Eco-Friendly Tourism: Rapid climate change and tourism induced pollution level and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions have resulted in rising demand for natural and rural destinations as tourist attractions and that can bring eco-friendly tourism experiences such as agri-tourism into the mainstream business.
- Addresses Rural ‘Decline’: India’s agriculture has been under stress due to increased input costs, volatile returns, climatic adversaries, land fragmentation, and so on. Although it is a mainstay of the economy, farmers have shifted to other industries in search of alternative livelihoods and income diversification. Agri-tourism can address the ‘hollowing out’ effect of rural decline and restore farmers’ confidence in agriculture and ecosystem-based services.
- Manifold Benefits to Farmers: Agri-tourism helps in supporting the incomes of farmers. It also acts as both a promoter and inhibitor to changing farmers’ attitudes or preferences to farming. It incentivises farmers to use the land which would otherwise be left fallow or uncultivated. In contrast, it also prevents a portion of farmland available to a farmer engaged in agri-tourism from cultivation, and instead uses it for tourism activities.
Benefits for Communities: From a community perspective, agri tourism can be a vehicle for:
- generating additional revenue for local businesses and services from tourists;
- upgrading / revitalising community facilities for residents and visitors;
- increasing protection of rural landscapes and natural environments for tourists and residents;
- helping preserve and revitalise local traditions, art and craft;
- promoting inter-regional, inter-cultural communication and understanding.
Agri Tourism is the latest concept in the Indian Tourism industry. It gives an opportunity to experience real enchanting and authentic contact with real life. Promotion of Agri-tourism needs conceptual convergence with rural tourism, health tourism and adventure tourism.