Taking Nepal tourism to the next level, the Government of Nepal has come up with a new initiative of driving more tourists through its agriculture sector.
In a first such move, the government has initiated a pilot project called agro-tourism village to attract tourists into the country’s beautiful agriculture farms.
The agro tourism village offers vacations in farms wherein, hospitality will be provided in farm areas with activities ranging from helping and having a know-how about farming, collecting fruits & vegetables, testing local foods, fishing and enjoying local and traditional cultures.
Encouraging the local produce for purchase by the arriving tourists, the project in its way empowers local rural communities by providing employment and opportunities to market their produce.
The Agriculture Ministry is planning to develop five such villages across the country this fiscal year at places such as: Ghodaghadi in Kailali, Machhamara in Sunsari, Rautamai in Udaypur, Patle in Solukhumbu and Kakani in Nuwakot.
These villages will involve around 75 households and are expected to maintain good transport facilities with natural background to attract tourists.
Government is launching the community-based agro tourism village program for the first time in Nepal and will gradually increase the number of such villages depending on the response, says Shankar Sapkota, Deputy Spokesperson of the Ministry.
It has been piloted in five areas and the number will be increased gradually if it becomes successful, adds the official.
Under the program to be promoted as ‘Modern Green Tour Village’, each selected firm will be granted Rs 2.5 million for developing basic infrastructure such as sanitation, roads and accommodation facilities in the targeted areas.
The government has set mid-July as the deadline for these firms to finish the assigned infrastructure development task.
We have selected more than 80 houses to run homestay under the project, but we are facing difficulties to complete them on time
–Jibnath Subedi, Proprietor of one of the firms promoting kiwi fruits
According to Subedi, the project will utilize the houses damaged during the 2015 earthquake for homestay and have been receiving the relevant housing reconstruction grants.