Setup of an educational agri-ecotourism park
Ecotourism parks are popular holiday destination amongst urban folks as a means to “be one with nature”. Due to rapid urbanization, cities are losing forest and greeneries. Furthermore, this has also resulted in loss in agricultural practices. Due to this, urban people are increasingly looking for green locations where they can relax and practise agricultural activities during weekends and enjoy a long holiday that is otherwise impossible in cities. We can provide support in setup microbiology lab and a vermicompost facility to educate on organic farming practices. We will install a biogas unit for our energy requirements, and at the same time it will similarly educate people on waste utilization from rural and also urban households.
The crux of the educational ecopark will be:
Agriculture: This will include farming activities, such as seeding, watering, plucking fruits and vegetables. For instance, the plot has many mango trees that are fruiting during spring and summer, tourist can pluck the mangoes that are organically cultivated and then purchase them at reasonable rates as required. Similarly, we will also cultivate popular fruits like watermelon and strawberry; a wide variety of flowers; vegetable and cereal crops. All the green wastes generated will be used for energy production via biogas or treated for silage for fodder production.
- Animal husbandry, poultry farming and fisheries: One of the ideas that will set us apart from other ecoparks is animal husbandry. We will rear a variety of cattle. Currently, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Karnal listed 36 varieties of Indian cattle that belong to the Milch and Draft categories. The Milch varieties like Gir and Red-Sahiwal are very popular across the country due to their high milk yield, while breed such as Khillar and Kankrej are very popular draft varieties that are used for laborious work. Under such a scheme, people folk will get an experience on milking, consuming fresh milk, bullock cart ride, watch bullock ploughing etc. Similarly, we can also setup a poultry unit. Lastly, a pond with varieties of fish and crustaceans are a catch for eyes. This will serve three purposes; people can fish when required at limited amounts; water rich in organic carbon and nitrogen for farming; and a waterside location for a good relaxing time.
- Basic microbiology: When Antoine van Leeuwenhoek first invented the microscope, he was amazed at the world invisible to our eyes. Microscopy is a powerful tool in educating our younger generation on the strength of various microbial transformations that include, generation of biogas, fermentation of rural and household wastes, vermicomposting, bread making etc. For people who intend to stay for at least a week, basic microbiology training will be provided that will be advantageous for urban terrace farming and household waste management.
- Vermicomposting: Earthworm are farmers best Friend. They not only increase soil health and fertility, but keep harmful pathogens away. For these, reasons, we will generate vermicompost on-site. It will serve dual purposes; on one hand it will be helpful in educating tourists at the park, and on the other hand it will directly serve as manure for farms by decomposing food and animal wastes that are generated at the eco-spot.