Known across the world for heritage tourism, the Rajasthan agriculture department will develop agricultural ‘centres of excellence’ into ‘agro-tourism’ destinations for tourists visiting the desert state, said state agriculture minister Prabhulal Saini.
Rajasthan has a number of centres of excellence where diverse varieties of agriculture produce are cultivated, and the centres which will soon be offering tourism facilities for tourists visiting the state, Saini told Hindustan Times.
The Rajasthan government has signed a memorandum of understanding with a private company for developing agro-tourism at the Sagra-Bhojka centre of excellence in Jaisalmer district under a public private partnership model, he said.
“Officials have been instructed to prepare a detailed project report for agro-tourism development at the centre of excellence in Mount Abu,” he said.
“The centre of excellence at Sagra-Bhojka of is known for its date palm, where the private company will set up tent s in the desert for tourists to stay as part of the agro-tourism and in return the firm will bear the cost of cultivating the date palm grove and also pay ₹20 lakh every year to the Rajasthan government.”
Similarly, the construction of a centre of excellence for floriculture is also underway in the hill resort of Mount Abu where tents and restaurants will be run for tourists, he said.
“Tourists will be able to visit the farms at the centre of excellence get information on farming.”
On the objective of promoting agro-tourism in the state, he said, “Tourists interested in spending quality time in natural surroundings, will be able to stay at the centres of excellence.”
“It is in keeping with PM Narendra Modi’s vision of linking tourism with agriculture that the Rajasthan government is focusing on agro-tourism development in the state,” he said.
He further said that tourism infrastructure like three star hotels or circuit houses will be developed at the centre of excellence for agro-tourism.
“More than₹10 crore each has been sanctioned for setting up four new centre of excellence with office building, training centre and resident quarters,” he said.