Agritourism may enhance the profitability of farmland
Irsa Ejaz, Muneeba, Farwa Shazadi, Sajid Hanif, M. Irshad, Abdul Shakoor, Nazer Manzoor
Pakistan is one of the most beautiful countries of the world having all the four seasons suitable for all crops. Weather conditions in Pakistan and the beauty of Kashmir are just like paradise and attract tourists. They visit our farmlands and enjoy different cultures in different regions of Pakistan. Birds, deserts, and mountains are special things; tourists attract more towards these natural beauties. And this is the Blessing of ALLAH that he shower his blessings on this region of the earth specifically. But unfortunately, Pakistani farmers are unable to develop their farmlands. But they are getting awareness and establishing their farms and in future years they will earn more from agritourism after development/establishment.
Introduction to Agritourism:
Many people like to visit different farms and other agriculture areas these days just for the recreational purposes. Visitors are attracted towards the rural background and rural culture. The primary appeal is cultural landscape, not the natural landscape, of the agritourism, that’s why tourists like to visit farmland. Otherwise, they visit just landscapes in any area not only in the village. Hence, agritourism develops and promotes the income for regional populations. Local breeds/animals and crops of that region are basically the things which attract tourists. In developing countries, few visitors visit farmlands and no trend of agritourism. But in well-developed country’s trend of Agro-tourism is high as much. Because they have awareness and knew that how they can earn money by using different sources.
Local hotels and restaurants also play an important role in agritourism and become the attraction for the visitors having the interest in such type of cultures belonging to other areas and countries where there is no such type of landscape as well as culture and traditions such like that.
It is defined as;
“The experience for visitors and a source of income generation for the farm owners for multi-purposes related to agriculture sector are called as agro-tourism.” It mostly depends on beauty, type of landscape and culture or traditions of any region.
Importance of agritourism:
Agritourism provides many social and economic as well as educational benefits to the owner/producer, visitor/consumer, and all other communities. It also provides a lot of incentives to stay in the agriculture sector to the farm owner or producer. Agriculture is facing problems of production, marketing, input resources on the farm, rising lands and costs of inputs in this challenging environment. Agritourism supports farmers and farming communities. It creates jobs for the communities and provides benefits economically.
Hence, we can say that agritourism is a unique local business for the farmers from the years but now it is spreading day by day and its popularity makes the whole world as a small landscape which is full of beauty and scenic environment.
There are various production activities in agritourism, but a few of them have stayed in a farm and ability for accommodation. Many of them have farm tours regularly, which are organized by the operator of the network guide (or tour guide) or sometimes also organized by theme. Sometimes travel association and travel agencies also act as the organizer in production activities. In production sub-system activities, processed products and farm production plays an important role. Agritourists conduct and participate in fairs related to trade. They not only conduct and participate, but also exhibit marketing directly from farms as well as farm tours acceptance and training conduction. For the expertise, commodity of farm consultancy services as well as value-added services, agritourism sites has production activities.
Outdoor recreation, entertainment, accommodation, and educational opportunities are there in the agritourism. These opportunities are specified separately. First of all, there is outdoor recreation in which wagon/sleigh/hay riding, scenic trails, picnic grounds, hunting, fishing, camping, birds watching and bone fires are included as opportunities. Then in the entertainment and other educational opportunities, festivals, agricultural tours, holiday events, barn dances, horse farm tours, petting zoo, school tours, concerts and some other musical events are also included. Similarly, in accommodations dude ranch, guests, retreat centers, farm vacations, bed and breakfast are included as opportunities in agritourism.
Customer relations in agritourism:
In good relation between owner and customer, there should be good listening and speaking skill to enhance communication in a better way. The owner must be kind and sympathetic. Listen to their problems and provide solutions against their problems accordingly. The farmer should remain calm in every situation and ask questions calmly that either they understand about the solution of their problems or not? He must suggest several solutions and ask them to choose. This may enhance the good relations of producer and consumer.
Impact of Agri-tourism on farm profitability:
The impact or effect of agritourism on the profitability of the farm is very poor. We can say that there is less or no effect on profitability after we have checked the records of profitability of each year. There is also somehow positive change in profitability in some areas. For some types of farm, the financial performance of the farm is going to improve due to agritourism.
However, Planning is the most important step of starting. If the farmer or any organization is planning carefully for the development of any farmland it will enhance the profitability as well but they must have to spend some money. Any business at starting need investment and then after sometimes returns back. The location also matters a lot. Tourists must be guided by someone to reach a safe place. These are the ways through which any farmer can get profit. But the farmer also needs some guidance to start and generate income properly.
The restaurant or the available rooms for visitors must be licensed so that they feel comfortable and live there for some time rather they afraid and go back suddenly. To enhance profitability on the farm, rooms should be clean. Food, accommodation, other facilities like security as well as the environment must be accordingly.
Beneficial aspects of Agri-tourism:
- Money/cash can collect in the off-season.
- It is an experience of venue of Agriculture.
- In agricultural operations, there is an opportunity for the farmers to sell products.
- Visitors share their passion for agriculture.
- It provides recreational activities for the people who visit farmland.
- It develops interaction between the people of different areas.
- It plays an important role in the economics of any area.
- It provides landscape and beautifies.
- It also provides opportunities for the job for the other household members of the farm.
- It diminishes the catastrophic impact event.
- It maximizes the farm resources.
- It inspires our children to the farm.
- It develops community vibrancy.
It is concluded that agritourism is another way through which we can enhance profitability of farmlands. Production will be more when sources of inputs increase through this local side business.
For the motivation towards this side business, there must be some teams or organizations, organized by the government to aware people or to guide them in decision making. Those teams must guide them about the positive or negative aspects as well as about the real proficiency in agritourism because motivation mainly plays an important role in proficiency.