New hope for tourism, employment through Kerala homestead farming

Published on : Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Homestead farming along with tourism might hold the future for Kerala’s tourism and labour sectors, both of which have been severely affected by the pandemic situation.

Anyone having land ranging from five cents to even 25 acres could opt for homestead farming, a combination of homestay and farming, without spending much on augmenting amenities to host visitors. It would be apt for people interested in agriculture with cultivable land around their house, said Jose Dominic, co-founder and former CEO of CGH Earth.

“All that is needed is conversion of one’s farm land into an enterprise. This will help attract visitors, including tourists, while furthering the cause of food security. It will also provide solace to people rendered unemployed by the pandemic, including returnees from West Asia,” he said.

Homestead farms would be different from colonial-era plantations that abound in the State. Intercrop, rearing of farm animals, and making of cheese and other dairy produce could also be done. Such farms could also provide respite for city residents who want to take a break and be in the midst of greenery for a few days. Farmers could opt to convert their produce into value-added items, get them packed and brand them. It would empower local labour, said Mr. Dominic, who owns a homestead farm in Pala.

Kerala’s Responsible Tourism (RT) initiatives kicked off in Kumarakom with focus on homestead farming, said Rupesh Kumar, State coordinator of the RT Mission. “Members of the local community there arrayed themselves under clusters and began selling their agri products to hotels. A total of 18,000 small and medium farmers across Kerala are now part of this.

Tourists love being introduced to the concept. It is yet again emerging as a trend since substantial number of people have turned to this to tide over the pandemic and in order to eat healthy food. It will in the long run usher in self-sufficiency in vegetables, fruits and other produce,” he said.


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