Agri tourism: A new paradigm for the socio-economic development of rural areas of Odisha: A case study of Daringbadi
Ritu Tiwari and Abhay Pratap Singh
Agriculture in Odisha is the mainstay of the majority of the populace and, thus, holds the key to the State's socio-economic development. Census 2011 shows that 84% of Odisha’s households stay in village areas, with agriculture and allied activities as their primary livelihood source. However, as we know that Odisha is vulnerable to various climatic hazards like cyclones, heavy rainfall etc., due to which the share of the Agriculture Sector in the State's GSDP has been declining over the years, so it becomes imperative to think about methods of farm diversification which can support the farmers of Odisha during these times of crisis. Agri tourism is one such opportunity that still needs to be explored by the people of Odisha, despite having tremendous scope for its growth and development. Agriculture (and allied activities, including animal husbandry) is the primary sector of the State economy. This primary sector offers the most potential for generating green-skills-based employment. However, Odisha has been seeing a shift from the rural sector with a noticeable fall in the number of farmers. Workers are leaving the primary sector due to inadequate irrigation, lack of proper skills, the impact of climate extremes, low market price for produce, and inadequate financial support. Not surprisingly, migration from rural Odisha to other states has risen three-fold in 10 years. Hence it is evident that to achieve sustainable development rural population must learn skills related to agri entrepreneurship and techniques of farm diversification. As the villages of Odisha have their unique and traditional way of living and farming, it gives immense scope for agri-tourism activities to flourish in Odisha with proper training and skill development workshops. Therefore, this study is an effort to highlight the role and significance of agri entrepreneurship and agri tourism in transforming the socio-economic condition of people residing in villages of Odisha. It was found that lack of government support and knowledge amongst the locals have restricted the growth of agri tourism in Daringbadi, which can be a great socio-economic driver for the area.