Mumbai: Maharashtra Tourism and ATDC to celebrate 15th International Agri Tourism day with farmers on 16th May

Milind Borikar, Director, DoT informs, “Agri-tourism is an emerging concept and has a multiplier effect on rural economies."

Abhitash SinghUpdated: Wednesday, May 11, 2022, 08:23 PM IST
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On the occasion of International Agri Tourism Day, Maharashtra Tourism in association with Agri Tourism Development Corporation (ATDC) is celebrating a full day event on 16th May, 2022 at Yashwant Rao Chavan Centre, Nariman Point, Mumbai from 10 am onwards. On this day, to promote experiential agri tourism, professionals from various fields will be conducting workshops on a wide variety of topics like eco-friendly activities, cultural immersion and the role of agri tourism in development of rural economy. This will benefit farmers to run their agri tourism centres. An award ceremony will also be conducted in which Agri Tourism centres from each region, that are successfully running using innovative practices and experiential activities, will be awarded for their efforts and ideas.

Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray, Minister for State Aditi Tatkare, Principal Secretary of Tourism department Valsa Nair Singh, MD of MTDC Jayshree Bhoj, Director and Joint Director of Directorate of Tourism (DoT) Milind Borikar and Dr. Dhananjay Sawalkar respectively, along with the founder of Agri Tourism Development Corporation (ATDC) Pandurang Taware and farmers from various regions of Maharashtra will be present for the event.

Maharashtra is rich in history, culture, and natural landscapes, offering a multitude of experiences for a diverse segment of tourists. Some of the tourism segments in the State that have been witnessing great interest from travellers are Agri-Tourism and Rural Tourism. Nowadays, more and more travellers are seeking environment-friendly tourism. Recognizing the potential of these sectors, the Maharashtra government has been taking ground-breaking initiatives to promote them. Maharashtra has been at the forefront of implementing and promoting Agri-Tourism, rural tourism and sustainable tourism in the country.

Agri-Tourism is a way of sustainable tourist development in rural areas as it provides opportunity to the tourists to get familiar with agricultural areas, agricultural practices, farm produce and gain an insight into the lifestyle of the farmers, as well as the cultural features and traditions. It also brings tourists closer to nature and allows them to get hands-on experience with various farming activities.

Valsa Nair Singh, Principal Secretary, Tourism said, “After rolling out the policy in 2020, in the last two years only online agri tourism conferences were conducted. This year, as the situation has improved and the industry has revived, we are conducting a physical event where several Agri Tourism centre owners will be guided about agri tourism and their potential in the state.”

Milind Borikar, Director, DoT informs, “Agri-tourism is an emerging concept and has a multiplier effect on rural economies. The linkage between agriculture and tourism will not only generate new economic opportunities but also support the sustainable development of rural areas. Our 6 Regional Deputy Directors will be present in the event and will also explain the scope and opportunities of agri tourism in their respective regions."

Pandurang Taware, Founder of Agri Tourism Development Corporation (ATDC) said, “Currently there are 354 registered Agri-Tourism centers across Maharashtra including Pune, Aurangabad, villages near Nagpur and tribal belt of Thane district. Since its inception, farmers across the State have gained a 25% growth in their incomes.”

These agri-tourism centres recorded 4.7 lakhs, 5.3 lakhs, 7.9 lakhs tourists visiting in 2018, 2019 and 2020 respectively, which helped the farmers to generate cumulative revenue/income of Rs 55.79 crore. Besides, the agri-tourism initiative helped to create more than 1 lakh jobs for women and youth in the rural areas.

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