Agri tourism prospects in Sikkim
Last Updated On: 30/11/2011
With Tourism and Agriculture being the two major thrust areas of the State Government it is evident that prospects of Agro-tourism is quite seen in the state. Sikkim lives in the villages as rural life constitute a major chunk of Sikkimese population. Sikkim has today emerged as a major floriculture hotspot and agriculture has been the main source of livelihood for the majority of the people in the state .A state where organic farming has been the major thrust still has conventional practice of cultivation as the irregular terrain and other conditions do not support the use of tractors and other modern equipments. This altogether has still kept intact the raw taste of traditional methods of agriculture through the ages to the present day.
Tourism in the state of Sikkim is not only confined to the urban masses but also has reached the villages. As such the new generation who perhaps has given up the profession of their ancestors and is on a lookout for alternate source of sustenance has tourism as an alternative now. Concepts like ecotourism, homestay, nature walk, cultural tours has been quite popular with the tourists here and evidently agri-tourism can be an indispensable part in the village tourism sector.
Moreover today as of people coming to the towns in search of a better livelihood it is often seen that their children having given the education of the better schools are confined to the artificial life amidst concrete boundaries of the towns devoid of the tastes of the villages. An excursion or a weekend break to these villages can give them an insight of the village life and an orientation to the folklores, customs and traditions of the village thus bridging the probable generation gap.
Traditional agriculture festivals that has been revived in many places in the state today could be conceptualized for tourism purposes as a day out in the fields to the tourists. The tourists could indulge in farming activities in traditional village style and share the local meal of the farmers. An evening with ‘tongba’ and local cultural performances or a bon fire perhaps to heal the achy bones and a silent slumber to end the day far from the noise of the city traffic would be an ideal day to crave for. A visit to nurseries, orchards, and farmhouses that many families in the state harness to understand the farming/breeding techniques could be offered as a package by the hotels and travel agencies. The International Florishow 2008 and the Khariff Kisan Mela were an effort of the State Government towards blending tourism with Floriculture/agriculture. Its promotion in future can undoubtedly be a major tourism event of the state. Thus it is evident that through the support from the Government and an interest from among the local entrepreneurs Agri-tourism can prosper in the state to be a perfect stress buster to the urban technocrat to escape from the complexities of a monotonous busy life