Farm Tourism- New trend in Kerala tourism to return to nature!
Farm Tourism is a new trend in Kerala’s tourism sector. Kerala, being an agriculture dominated state, has tremendous potential for developing Farm Tourism in a big way without much additional investment. Even though farm tourism is an integral part of Eco Tourism, there is a slight difference between both of them.While artificially created landscapes are part of Eco Tourism – gardens, pond etc, the goal of Farm Tourism is to show the curious tourist about Nature in her pristine purity.
Farm Tourism preserves the environment. Chemical Farming is also prohibited, as no processes which damage Nature is allowed. Organic Farming and its development give tremendous impetus to Farm Tourism. Reports state that Kerala has 30.22 lakhs hectares of gross cropped area which is 56.78% of the State’s total geographical area. More than 1/3rd of the cropped area contains plantations of Tea, Coffee, Rubber, Pepper, Cardamom and Ginger, and another 1/3rd of this area is covered by Coconut plantations. The State has about 350,000 lakhs hectares of land under paddy cultivation.
The tourists who come to Kerala expects to see the real beauty that lies in the rural part of the state. But what happens often is, they return without seeing it. They have read about Kerala as true traditional and cultural state with families based in love. But they don’t get the opportunity to experience the village life and to live within that atmosphere. Most tourists come from cultures which does not give much importance to family attachments & village or Rural Life. In villages people live in harmony with nature which is otherwise not possible in big cities where people are always business minded. You get fresh air & fresh water in villages in contrast to polluted air and polluted water in cities.
Farm tourism gives ample opportunity for tourists as well as locals, who wish to enjoy nature. The various schemes underway are intended to prepare the Farms/Plantations of Kerala to receive tourists by presenting a positive image of the farm and of agriculture as a whole, in view of revitalising the agriculture sector of Kerala through tourism.