Pune: An agrotourism tour organiser from Pune, has come up with an innovative way to take urban citizens closer to nature and the farms, by giving them first-hand experience of sowing in the paddy fields. The paddy sowing season is at its peak currently and the good rains have made the field activity more rapid.
“We are thinking of making our tours interesting. As urban citizens, we consume agricultural produce, but never get to see the effort that goes behind cultivating every grain of food that we eat,” said Paresh Deshmukh of Footloose Tours, who along with Synergy Tours, had organised the tour, adding, “Which is why we came up with the concept of taking urban tourists to the fields directly.”
“This is the third year of our tour and we have been utilising this period of the monsoons to help the farmers,” Deshmukh said, adding, “Paddy cultivation is a labour intensive activity and it requires a lot of people to sow the saplings. We thought of taking these tourists to the fields to help the farmers and also give them a deeper agro-tourism experience.”
“We went to the campsite and then they took us to the fields. It was a pleasant surprise. We were knee-deep in the mud, besides the farmers and were guided by them and the guides about paddy sowing. It was eye-opening. We never think of the effort that goes behind the food we eat,” said Divya Ganesh, a CA student who went for the tour.
“We wanted citizens to see how much farmers have to work for the things that we consume. We have a campsite near Mulshi and from there, whichever farm is seeing a sowing activity, we ask if we can join them,” Deshmukh said, adding, “It is a limited period tour as the sowing activity goes on hardly for 15 days every season. This year, as the rains came suddenly, the activity was frantic and this might be the last weekend for sowing.”
Deshmukh said they received a very positive response. “In the beginning, we used to get 30 to 40 participants and soon more than 70 participants each season. This year, we have 50 participants,” he said.