Vox Popli: A tale of mountains, lakes, valleys and apple!
The state of Jammu and Kashmir is known for its scenic beauty as much as fresh and juicy apples. Tourists reaching here from various party of the world usually appreciate the flora and fauna as well as the grand manicured gardens as well as lakes and water bodies. They also love the fragrance of the fresh fruits in the air. Tourism and horticulture are two different as well as big sectors that fetch Kashmir a large portion of its economy and imagining a combination of both might seem a ‘too futuristic’ and ‘ahead of time’ concept. But can it happen? Can it be a new success story for Kashmir? Kashmir Images reporterAaqib Naik explores:-
Manzoor Ahmad Malik
First of all we need to understand the term horticulture tourism because for a layman who only knows how to produce fruit and how to sell it, the concept might not be easy to grasp. If analyzed in its entirety, one can say that this combination can prove beneficial for everyone associated with fruit industry as well as with tourism. As growers, we can explore the new things and will get better market and exposure how to present, package and deliver the products. But the ground reality is different and even growers do not find their concerned department helpful in matter more urgent and more demanding.
Horticulture and Tourism will create opportunities for the farmers and growers and will provide revenues for horticulture products as well as a different dimension to tourism here. There are opportunities for horticulture businesses from aesthetics to food production, from landscape to garden maintenance and also promotion of a particular region often depends upon image portrayed by horticulture.
Nissar Ahmad Bhat
It would be quit beneficial in terms of generating additional revenues for local traders and tourism players and there will be preservation and revitalization in traditions, art and crafts. Sustainability is the main thing that it will provide and the combination will open new opportunities for people here.
Owais Ahmad Merging these two sectors can prove beneficial for the masses here and it can add yet another feature to the tourism industry here. Festivals can be organized and tourists can be brought in touch with horticulture- be it touring apple orchids, picking fruits and also seeing the other processes including packaging etc shall be an entirely new dimension for our guests. There can be no more authenticity for fresh fruits than offering them to tourists right in an orchid where they may chose to pluck some and carry along.
Mohammad Aasif Naik
Merging Tourism industry with Horticulture not only adds to the revenue but will open up more opportunities for local growers to flourish their products globally. Horticulture products like fruits, herbs, spices etc are important ingredients in hospitality like in hotels restaurants and can be powerful if explored properly. Such a venture can create synergy for rural development not only on district levels but across the rural-urban spectrum. In every season, particular tourism events can be organized to explore variety of fruits and flowers. This transformation will sanitize the marketing aspect of the horticultural goods especially their promotion and demonstration .
Merging Horticulture and Tourism sectors will prove beneficial to everyone related to horticulture and tourism department same as it has been in Sikkim where organic farming is very common. It’s better for sustainable development and will add fame only when these two sectors support every grower in terms of finance and other schemes. Composite farming can be introduced and bio fertilizers can be used to make it eco friendly so that foreigners too appreciate it and enjoy it. There will be well maintained orchards as traditional farming is known to everyone and horticulture tourism can provide people different opportunities in terms of producing fruit or introducing new varieties only to attract people so that they come to enjoy it and take it as fresh. Our fruits will be famous across the globe.
Mohd Ashraf Wani
Merging these two sectors will prove beneficial in every respect. If tourism department can introduce fresh fruit stalls to promote Kashmir apple, our fruit can become a global sensation. Tourism department can also intervene and pay some attention towards maintaining gardens and orchids.
Today, we see the level of urbanization has increased to a very high extent and the trend has badly impacted our lives. If the concept of horticulture tourism is really explored, both rural and urban cities will encourage as well as generate the perception among people to live in sync with nature. Farming as well as gardening are beautiful professions and our youth don’t pick such professions just because these aren’t in vogue. A combination of horticulture and tourism can actually make a far greater impact on us psychologically than economically. We have our youth happily going into tourism industry while as horticulture isn’t even considered as an option. Besides, this will also add more colors to our tourism industry and create more opportunities for our horticulture sector.