On the occasion of 10th World Agri Tourism Day, Maharashtra Tourism organised a seminar today at Y.B. Chavan Auditorium with an aim to increase employment and investment opportunities in Agro Tourism sector. Jaykumar Rawal, Minister of Tourism, Government of Maharashtra in the presence of Pandurang Fundkar, Minister of Agriculture & Horticulture, Government of Maharashtra; Madan Yerawar, State Tourism Minister, Government of Maharashtra and other prominent dignitaries of the state inaugurated the conference.
Maharashtra is a pioneer state to endorse Agri and Rural tourism in India. Agri tourism is one of the fastest developing segments of the travel sector, and this comprises of visits to working farms, ranches, wineries and other agricultural industries. Agri-destinations provide a wide variety of entertainment, education, relaxation, outdoor adventures, shopping and dining experiences. Farmers and ranch owners invite the enthusiasts onto their property to educate them about health and nutritive benefits about the organically grown products.
In order to change the current trends; Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation offers scheme of Mahabhraman to carry these projects under one roof. There are 77 Mahabhraman units registered with MTDC. The main aim of this scheme is to inspire people from various segments to offer an exclusive experience to the tourists and to provide sustainable livelihoods to families of farmers in villages.
Rawal said, “We are pleased to organise this conference as our aim is to nurture agri tourism in order to create awareness among the tourists about the working culture of agriculture farms and provide rural experience to city commuters. Tourism sector has a huge potential to widen the scope of agriculture sector. We believe this initiative will not only increase tourism footfall but will also generate employment and investment opportunities for better sustainability of the farmers.”
Yerawar added, “The idea of Agri tourism is spreading across Maharashtra. Agriculture tourism in Vidarbha region will not only promote Rural and Agri tourism but will also educate tourists and promote the products of the farm and generate additional farm income; provide rural experience to urban residents. This initiative will also allow diversification of income opportunity to farms and ranches that can help buffer fluctuating markets.”