By Ashok Kumar/OneWorld South Asia
Dehradun: A new experiment into agricultural tourism is all set to bring fortunes for the picturesque Nag Tibba village of Tehri district in Uttarakhand. A social enterprise called Green People is set to open in this village The Goat Village comprising of 12 cottages as homestays for tourists.
Situated at a distance of about 25 kms from Mussoorie, a famous hill station known for its holiday resorts, the village is abuzz with homestays for tourists. The mud, stone and wood accommodations have also provided employment opportunities to rural people in this remote area.
The Goat Village aims to bring alive traditional architecture and has been built with almost no impact on the environment. The Goat Village will promote goat and sheep products to tourists apart from offering agriculture tours, education volunteer tours, culinary tours & Special Interest tours.
The Green People is also working towards reviving old traditions of farming and associated practices in the state of Uttarakhand, have launched the ‘Bakri Chaap’ range of naturally grown indigenous farm produce like grains, pulses, fruits & Vegetables, and goat, sheep and beet products.
The social enterprise has set up six Bakri Chaap Collection centres of local farm produce —at Nag Tibba where farmers can come and give commercially viable and naturally grown healthy produce. Ten more such will come up in the next six months.
The initiative aims at halting the migration of local farming & hill population from the state for better job opportunities by reviving old traditions & occupations as well as promoting sustainable development. Locals are encouraged to take up occupations that are gradually being deemed redundant.
The Green People team constitutes people coming together from different walks of life for a common cause of protecting micro-cultures with a desire to promote development alongside ecologically responsible means.
Bakri Chaap has had resounding acceptance from locals because the farmers in remote areas too benefit from this initiative. Mobile collection vans collect produce from the farmer's doorstep adding to a further saving of transportation charges for them.
Bakri Chaap is carving a niche in indigenously grown products both with farmers and consumers. The initiative is bearing fruit and the ‘Bakri Chaap’ Collection centres in Uttarkashi recently procured about 20 quintals of grain from local farmers in two days.
This produce is initially being provided to local five star hotels as well as restaurants across the State of Uttarakhand. Local resorts have also pledged to source Bakri Chaap products. The social enterprise has also adapted The Sleeping Village at Rudraprayag, The Ski Village, Raithal, Uttarkashi and hope to have several such projects in the state in the near future.