Karnataka plans agricultural tours, guidelines soon

Karnataka plans agricultural tours, guidelines soon

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In a bid to boost tourism and help farmers at the same time, the state government is mulling 'agri-tourism' that will be piloted soon in two districts.

Agriculture Minister BC Patil, Horticulture Minister Narayana Gowda and Tourism Minister CT Ravi huddled on Friday with officials to discuss this. 

Patil told DH they wanted to frame the guidelines at the earliest and initiate the programme. "Today was the preliminary meeting. We want to begin with one district in the northern part of the state and another in the south. We will finalise it soon," he said. 

The basic idea was to get people acquainted with agriculture, rural culture, arts and sports.

According to Ravi, who is also minister for sports and Kannada & Culture, the government was looking at a similar initiative in Maharashtra. "Maharashtra tried something similar, which was successful. We are keeping that as the model while developing guidelines," Ravi said. 

The initiative will be taken up in coordination with tourism, horticulture and agriculture departments. Apart from highlighting rural culture, the guidelines will be designed in a way to benefit farmers. "We want the farmers to be stakeholders in this initiative," he said. 

During the meeting, the ministers also considered coordinating with agriculture and horticulture universities in the state.

Coming up with a tourism package where tourists would visit these universities, interact with scientists, visit nearby tourist spots and spend time on farms learning about agriculture were among the ideas discussed.

"Roping in school students is another option as it will be an educative experience for children," Patil added. The government was also open to inviting private agencies to coordinate the initiative, according to the minister.

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