DEHRADUN: Uttarakhand Government all set to boost 'Agri-tourism' tourism just like European vineyard tourism and Japanese strawberry tourism in Uttarakhand, in the state.
Subodh Uniyal, state agriculture minister said, "The agro-toruism has immense potential in Uttarakhand and we have orchards and gardens of many fruits, flowers, medicinal plants and what not. It will give boost to already growing tourism sector of the state."
The initiative will be focusing on hill districts of Uttarakhand where fruits like apple, pear, peach, plum, khumani and walnut are grown in orchards, fields deploying different methods.
The state leads in the production of pear, plum, peach and apricot while stands second in the production of walnuts and tanha their in production of apples across the country.
The department has planned further development of the existing farms and orchards in the Himalayan state for tourism purpose, added officials.
The idea sprung up after a recently concluded vistar of delegation to Japan including the minister. "In Japan we witnessed that a ticket is required to visit a strawberry farm and one can consume as much as one like to without intending any damages. However, anyone cannot carry away or collect the strawberries home," said the minister.
The officials from the agriculture department said that the state government will approach the farmers if the state with a proposal to share the profit.
"It will benefit all the stakeholders including farmers, the tourist and the visitor. This way the scheme could be game changer," said Uniyal.
Out of total 13 districts of Uttarakhand, 9 are dominated by hilly terrain, three of them- Nainital, Haridwar, Dehradun are partially hilly while Udham Singh Nagar is totally plain area.
Due to hilly terrain, avialbale land for agricultural practices is only 14% of the total geographical area of the state which happens 5.35 million hectare.
On an average, land holding of one farmer in the state stands 0.95 hectare aagainst the national average of 1.57 hectare.
Due to various factures including tough and hilly terrain, small land holdings, inaccessible farms, the state has tried to focus and tap allied areas of agricultural practices such as horticulture, agro processing industries, organic farming, off season vegetable cultivation and cultivation of medicinal and aromatic plants to mention a few.
Climatic conditions of the state provide conducive tools for production of temperate and subtropical fruit crops such ass apple, pear, peach, plum, khumani and walnut in the hills.
Fruits like mango, litchi, malta, santra, lemon, Amla, guava, and pomegranate are grown in Tarai and valley areas of the hill state.