With the Tourism Department making efforts to promote the policy of agro-tourism in Nagpur division, farmers have started showing interest in developing agro-tourism facilities in their agricultural fields in Nagpur division. The department has received 50 applications for the purpose while it has so far issued certificates to 28 farmers to launch the scheme in their fields in order to earn additional income.
The department launched the policies like agro-tourism, adventure tourism and caravan tourism last year but the actual work of promoting the schemes started this year owing to coronavirus pandemic. The agro-tourism scheme has been designed to promote rural development, exposing folk art/rural traditions, making available marketing facilities to agricultural commodities, providing opportunities to women and youths for employment in their villages, giving information about allied business to agriculture, increasing living standard, promoting pollution-free tourism and making them pass time in the company of nature to get peace etc.
Disclosing this while talking to The Live Nagpur here on Thursday to mark World Tourism Day on coming Monday, Prashant Sawai, Deputy Director, Tourism, Nagpur, said that the certificate-holders farmers started providing facilities like lodging, boarding, bullock-cart ride, playing facility for children, water tank etc in their fields as part of boosting the policy and generating additional source of income, he added.
The government also provides benefits to the farmers such as application of no tax as charged in hotel industry, construction of rooms in the fields without obtaining permission from any government department, department will make publicity through website/exhibitions, using department’s logo, facility to get bank loan to certificate holders by making online application with food license plus necessary documents etc. Charging of lower rates for electricity to such farmers is under active consideration of the government, Sawai added.
The department has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Maharashtra Cooperative Development Corporation for promoting agro-tourism that allows cultivators to sell agricultural produce to the visiting tourism. Tourism Department and the corporation have been jointly organising workshops at different rural places in the division that includes Nagpur, Bhandara, Gondia, Wardha, Chandrapur and Gadchiroli districts, Sawai pointed out.