Laxmi Capital News
Agro sector attracting tourists in Rupandehi

Flourishing of commercial agriculture in Rupandehidistrict has boosted up the potentiality of agro tourism in the district.Commercial farming of Ostrich, country’s largest cow farming & researchcenter, commercial fish farming, bee-keeping as well as expanding pocket areaof organic vegetables and mushroom are some of the attractions for tourists inthe district. Locals are enthusiastic with the rising prospects of agrotourism.

Every day, approximately 1,000 domestic and foreigntourists visit the Ostrich farm located at Gangoliya of Tilottama Municipality.The farm, Ostrich Nepal Pvt Ltd, is earning Rs 5 to Rs 6 million every year.Almost 50 percent domestic tourists coming to visit Lumbini also go to theostrich farm while 15 to 20 percent of foreign tourist comes to visit thefarm. 

Since there are limited countries in Asia that are doingostrich farming at a noteworthy scale, the farm is an attraction for Asiantourists as well. “After doing several feasibility studies, a team of expertsfrom South Korea, Malaysia, China, Japan, Netherland, Israel, and India hasrecommended developing this farm as a model in the world,” said CP Sharma,operator of Ostrich Nepal Pvt Ltd. 
Currently, there are 6,000 ostriches in the farm. Another attraction in thefarm is a restaurant that offers special dishes of ostrich, local chicken, fishand organic vegetables. Sharma has a target to develop this farm as an ostrichinvestigation center in future.

Likewise, around 400 domestic and foreign tourists go tosee Lumbini Agro Product and Research Center, the country’s largest cow farm.The farm earns between Rs 1.5 to Rs 2 million monthly. Sashi Poudel, agroentrepreneur and operator of the research center, said that almost everyambassador from foreign countries also reaches the farm when they are visitingLumbini. So do the tourists, investigators, and students.

Visitors have to pay Rs 50 per person and Rs 2,000 perbus to enter the farm. Currently there are around 450 cows of Holstein,Friesian and Jersey species. The farm generates 2,000 liters of milk every day.It also generates biogas and energy for self-consumption. It has plantedimproved grass on 22 bigha of land. Poudel has a plan of building a hotel andserviced apartment for tourists. 

“If the government could provide some support, then thefarm can be expanded as an investigation center for Jersey and Holstein speciesof cow,” Poudel told Republica. 

Likewise, fish farming of Chhapiya village in Rupandehidistrict is another attraction for tourist. Not a single house can be found inthe village that is not involved in fish farming. The village is promotingculture and tradition of the Tharu community along with fish farming. One caneven enjoy boating on the fish ponds. Several restaurants have also beenestablished there that offer different fish items. The number of tourists fromIndia and Europe visiting the village is quite high. However, due to lack ofgood hotels in the village, they return to nearby cities of Butwal orBhairahawa.  

Another tourist attraction in the district is the pocketarea of organic vegetables, Sarhan Tandi, located at Devdaha. The village atDevdaha, Lord Buddha’s maternal home, is surrounded by forests from threesides. The main attraction of this village is tradition and culture of theMagar community. People come here to enjoy delicacies of local chickens andorganic vegetables. Standard hotels and homestays in the village have thepotential to turn the village into a nice tourist destination, according toBishnu Sharma, provincial coordinator of Nepal Association of Travel Agency(NATTA) for Province 5. 

Sharma further said that if only 25 percent of touristsamong the total tourists visiting Lumbini could be brought to the village, theeconomic condition of the entire village could be significantly improved. 

Shivalal Bhusal, a faculty member at Butawal MultipleCampus, said that development of agro tourism can establish the agriculturalsector as a respectful profession. “If agriculture can get linked with tourism,it will help to increase tourist stay in the villages and also help to findmarket for agro produces,” Bhusal said. 

The provincial government has considered agriculture andtourism to be the catapults of economic prosperity for the province. However,much has to be done to encourage 90 percent of the tourists visiting Lumbini toalso visit these agricultural sites.

Source : My Republica, 6th May 2018


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