Searching about Agro Tourism in Nepal based on Sagarmatha National Park Area. Sagarmatha National Park which lies in the high mountain region of Nepal, is one of the major destination of foreign visitors.
Agro Tourism in Nepal Based on Sagarmatha National Park Area
Mountain tourism provides opportunities for, as well as challenges to, providing gainful employment, income, and other socioeconomic benefits, while at the same time conserving the rich natural and socio-cultural heritage of the region. Various tourism development projects and plans have been formulated, developed, and implemented in different parts of the Himalayas to promote sustainable mountain tourism – some on a state and national scale, others set up as (sub) regional collaboration projects (ICIMOD, 2007). Developing tourism is popular among regions involved in rural renewal. Changes taking place in agriculture are a particular catalyst giving rise to all kinds of initiatives. It will be argued that there is a need for innovative strategies that create economic development yet preserve the rural character of the countryside (Watanabe et al, 2002).
Purpose of the Agro-tourism of Sagarmatha National Park Area
Agro tourism has various different economic and socio cultural endeavor.The main purpose of the post is to promote local agricultural products and practices in the mainstream of agro-tourism in order to see a sustainable rural economic growth with environmental conservation. The specific objectives are as follows:
• To identify the agricultural problems at local level and Prospect of agro-tourism in SNP.
• To strengthen the local knowledge and agricultural resources in the development of tourism.
• To develop the capacity of local in the promotion of agriculture.
• To strengthen importance of agro-tourism at local level and value chain markets in Sagarmatha National Park Area areas.
Agro-tourism of Sagarmatha National Park Area
Sagarmatha National Park which lies in the high mountain region of Nepal, is one of the major destination of foreign visitors. Mountain tourism provides opportunities for, as well as challenges to, providing gainful employment, income, and other socioeconomic benefits, while at the same time conserving the rich natural and socio-cultural heritage of the region. Agro-tourism is a mild form of sustainable tourist development and multi-activity in rural areas through which the visitor has the opportunity to get acquainted with agricultural areas, agricultural occupations, local products, traditional cuisine and the daily life of the people, as well as the cultural elements and the authentic features of the area, while showing respect for the environment and tradition. It helps to improve the income of regional population, promote regional development, conserve diversity, the rural population itself must have recognized agriculture as valuable and worthy of protection.
The area is also highly potential for producing crops and vegetables. However, the present product is not sufficient to address the local demand. Some farmers had tried high yielding varieties of crops and vegetables since 1996, but now there are the cases of various diseases and lower production. With this situation, farmers had begun to use pesticides and chemical fertilizer to solve their problem. Ultimately, this situation is not in their favor, as the tourists will not be consuming the vegetables produced with the use of chemical pesticides.
The poor and marginalized farmers residing on the sidelines of the trekking routes are not able to grasp the advantages of their geographical location. This phenomenon has not only been depriving the potential opportunity of the marginalized farmers, but also inviting serious environmental problems because of the use of imported food items, which are packaged in plastics and other environment polluting materials.
It believes that agro tourism allows you to be in close contact with the inhabitants of small rural villages being involved in traditional way of agriculture in this century. It can find out how food grains are harvested, sorted and preserved, how vegetables can be grown organically, how freshly picked fruits are turned into delicious marmalades, how goats are milked, cheeses are made, and so on. At the same time, it mobilizes the productive, cultural and developmental forces of an area, contributing in this way to the sustainable environmental, economic and social development of the rural area.
Tourism links with other economic sectors, particularly agriculture, increasing the proportion of tourism revenue retained in the community. It provides opportunities for both farm and off-farm diversification, and help to maintain farming and gathering.
Therefore, it will facilitate a firm chain of producing-selling-consuming the local agricultural products. As the tourism sector is highly cash earning sector and supplying the raw agricultural materials to the tourism will ultimately support the small holder farmers, entrepreneurs, wage labors working at the hotel/restaurants, tour guides. In this way, it will contribute to the sustained poverty reduction.
Advantage of Agro-tourism of Sagarmatha National Park Area
The primary direct target beneficiaries are the poor farmers, unemployed youths and women mainly engaged in small scale agriculture activities. In the present context, only few people who are directly engaged in hotel/restaurant business and tour guides are mainly grasping the benefits from the tourism sector in the proposed Project area. With the implementation of the proposed Project the farmers and marginalized people residing in the periphery of the trekking routes will be benefited mostly. Besides, these people the hotel/restaurant owners, staff working with these hotels/restaurants and other entrepreneurs like bakery owners will also receive the benefits.
The local environment will be further conserved with the introduction of organic farming and substitution of packaged food items. No negative effect had been foreseen with the implementation of the proposed Project activities.
Moreover, it brings visitors closer to nature and rural activities in which they can participate, be entertained and feel the pleasure of touring, learning and discovering.