Agri experts share their pearls of wisdom

World Agritourism Day

Lucknow: A workshop was organized on World Agritourism Day on 16th May by Uttar Pradesh Tourism. Organized at Indira Gandhi Pratisthan, Gomtinagar, Lucknow. Stakeholders and experts related to agriculture and rural tourism shared their experiences in the workshop. There are unlimited possibilities in this field in Uttar Pradesh. The government is taking initiative, people should also come forward.

As the chief guest, Devesh Chaturvedi, Additional Chief Secretary (Appointment and Personnel Department, Agriculture, Agricultural Education and Research Department and Agricultural Marketing Agriculture, Foreign Trade and Export Promotion Department, Government of Uttar Pradesh) said that our country is agriculture oriented. There are unlimited opportunities here in agriculture and rural tourism. This sector can make a huge contribution in increasing the income of farmers.

Suggested three points for the development of agriculture and rural tourism. He said that firstly, there should be good arrangements for staying in villages for four-five days or more. The benefit from this will be that people who are financially prosperous will be attracted to travel and stay. By moving to the villages of this category, there will be a good increase in the income of the farmers. Secondly, the Tourism Department should talk to the Education Department and make arrangements for students to visit villages. The biggest benefit from this will be that the students who have been away from the rural environment will have practical knowledge of rural life and its qualities. This will change their way of thinking and will also increase the income of the villagers.

He said that a large number of tourists visit Ayodhya, Prayagraj, Mathura, Agra and other tourist places. If agricultural and rural tourist places are available on the way, then people will definitely not only go for tourism but will also stay. If tourists go to villages, then people who are directly associated with the tourism sector will not only get employment but the income of those producing local products will also increase. The doors of employment will open for the villagers. He said that NITI Aayog also believes that there are more jobs in the tourism sector. You get good returns on whatever you invest in it.

Principal Secretary Tourism and Culture Mukesh Kumar Meshram said that our India lives in villages. Pure air and water are available only in villages. Many diseases disappear as soon as they reach villages. At present there is a lot of potential in agriculture and rural tourism. Because people living in cities like to roam in villages. He wants to see the lifestyle there. The new generation living in cities is studying farming only in books. We are turning to villages to see the ground reality. The Tourism Department is working rapidly in the field of agri-tourism and rural tourism in the state. People should also come forward in this.

Special Secretary, Home Yogesh Kumar said that tourism tells us that holidays are not for spending, but for traveling, understanding and learning. Children should be taken out during holidays so that they connect and learn more about their culture. This will lead to their all-round development. Told him that to increase tourism, it is important that we become aware of the actual situation of tourists. During this, he also shared his long experiences of MNREGA.

Special Secretary Tourism Isha Priya said that 229 villages out of 75 districts and 18 divisions of the state have been selected for rural tourism development. The accommodation here will be provided by the local community in the form of homestay. The villages of the state have many tourist attractions such as various historical heritages, wildlife tourism, cultural, mythological, exciting activities etc. These selected villages are being developed as tourist villages, which will provide experience of local tours, local cuisine, folk songs and dances, local culture and traditions. In this, the picturesque view of the village, activities like trekking, pottery making, cycling are the major attractions for the visitors. These villages aim to offer visitors a relaxing rural cultural experience.

On this occasion, Manisha Pandey, Founder Director, Village Ways Travel, Almora expressed her views on community based tourism – concept and possibilities. Kumar Anubhav, Founder of Not on Map from Himachal discussed about homestays and cultural heritage – the growing demand for homestays and sharing of experiences. Rupesh Rai of Bakri Chhap Agro Tourism discussed about developing rural destinations through hyper local experience and storytelling and Paras Loomba of GHE Leh discussed about developing rural destinations and developing home stays as an effective accommodation medium. Soumen Karmakar of Willow Tale, Almora discussed the use and benefits of information technology in promoting agri-rural tourism, Manish Kumar of Back to Village Bhubaneswar discussed the importance of community participation and decision making for the development of rural tourism.

In this sequence, Padmashree farmer Ram Sharan Verma of Barabanki discussed integrating productivity, consultation and employment in cooperative farming and promoting agriculture. Prem Singh, who came from Banda, also discussed the possibilities of agro-tourism in the state. Deepak Gupta from Gulmohar Eco Village, Pranav Kapoor from Perfume Tourism and Shailendra Singh from My Moms Village, Divya Udit Narayan Singh from Kannauj, RP Singh from Mela Kothi Agra and many other experts shared their experiences and expressed their views in this discussion. A new initiative in the field of agro-rural tourism by the tourism department.

Some selected people who have made replicable efforts will be honored with ‘appreciation certificates’ for their excellent contribution.

On this occasion, Shri Kripal Singh, Bagan Orchard Retreat, Bulandshahr, Shri Suraj Shukla Earth Home, Dudhwa.
Anirudh OL Nature Retreat, Lakhimpurkhiri,  Ahmed Faiz M Cocoa Farm, Lucknow,  Shailendra Singh My Moms Village, Basti,  Abbas Jaffrey Vintage Village Resort, Sitapur,  R.P. Singh Mela Kothi, Chambal Safari Lodge, Agra,  Pranav Kapoor Perfume Tourism, Kannauj,  Divya Udit Narayan Singh Anand Bhawan Palace, Kannauj,  Deepak Gupta Gulmohar Eco Resort, Banda, as well as Kuruna, Varanasi, winner of the Best Tourism Village – 2023. The representative of Rameshwaram village was honoured.

In this workshop, Managing Director of Tourism Development Corporation Mr. Ravi Ranjan, Director Tourism Prakhar Mishra, Deputy Director Dr. Kalyan Singh, Deputy Director Dinesh Kumar, Deputy Director Viresh Kumar and other officers were present.


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