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An Education Tourism For The Students Of Environmental Studies

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Introduction

Most of the countries have included Environmental Education in curriculum at all levels of schooling. The subject Environmental Education is compulsory in India right from the first standard till 12th. Aligned to the choice-based Credit System, introduced by University of Mumbai, Environmental Studies/ Management is one the mandatory program for the undergraduate courses like First Year Commerce (FYBCOM).

Literature Review

According to Duncan (1993)), agritourism is the business conducted by a farm operator for the enjoyment and education of the public & to promote the products of farm & thereby generate additional farm income. Thus it is an agri-business activity, when a native farmer’s offer tours to their agriculture farm to allow the tourist to view cultivating, harvesting, and processing locally grown foods and/ or any agriculture produce. In such cases, often the farmers would provide a home-stay opportunity and education (Taware Pandurang, 2009). Many scholars while coining the definition of agritourism have emphasized that recreational activities offered on working farms for tourist entertainment and educational purposes ((Beall, 1996; Fogarty and Renkow, 1998; Hilchey, D. & Kuehn, D., 2001; Reynolds, 2005; Pittman, 2006; Carlos, 2006; Che, Veeck, &Che,2006; Boucková, 2008).

Need for the Study

Teaching of crucial subject like Environmental Study has remained bounded by the four walls of the classroom mainly due to undesirable and skewed proportion of teacher-student ratio, and other academic and non-academic workload ofteachers.

Wall, (2006) analyses agritourism as the small-scale, low-impact and education focused niche tourism. The urban visitors are interested to know the process of growing food, innovative experiments conducted in farming, to experience farm activities. Agritourism provides an excellent opportunity to the farmer to interact with urban visitors, share his knowledge.

Thus,the tours to the agritourism centres are excellent tools to educate the students ofEnvironmental Studies as well;to facilitate them correlating the concepts studied in the classroom with the outside world. Field visits to the agritourism centreswould promote effective teaching of Environmental Studies by adding practical elements to the subject and by sharing the responsibilities of teaching staff.

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Research Methodology and Data

Primary data has been furnished based on the field visit. A close-ended questionnaire was used as adata collection tool for seeking the primary data from the FYBCOM students who visited an Agritourism Centre. Before conducting field visit of the agritourism centre, students were informed how it is going to be useful for them to understand the subject. Because interpretations at agritourism centre plays vital roles in enhancing educational aspect in agritourism visit. About 60 students were selected as the samples which were participated in field visits of two agritourism centres. The Students of FYBCOM were instructed to fill close-ended questionnaire after the field visits of the agritourism centers. Then the questionnaire data was then tabulated, sorted and analysed to assess whetherfield visit to the agritourism centre served as the educational tour to clarify the concepts discussed in the syllabus.Therefore, in order to evaluate whether agritourism is education tourism, two field visits of FYBCOM students were organized at the two agritourism centres namely - Saguna Bag at Karjat from Raigad district and Samarth Krupa Agrotpurism Centreat Shirgaon from Palghar district of Maharashtra state.

Results and Discussion

The analysis of questionnaire of the FYBCOM students revealed the following findings -

  1. Coverage of Syllabus through field visit: About 98percent students agreed that visit to the agritourism centre could cover approximately 80 percent syllabus such as Environment and Ecosystem, Natural Resources & Sustainable Development, Population & Emerging Issues of Development, Solid Waste Management for Sustainable Society, Agriculture Development,and Tourism & Environment.
  2. Concept Clarification: Nearly 85 percent students admitted that most of the concepts like Carrying capacity, Food security, Sustainable agriculture, Organic farming, Carbon footprint, Green Tourism, Ecosystem, Optimum use of resources, Recycling the waste, Sustainable Development, Green consumption were very well cleared to them.
  3. Biodiversity Conservation: Approximately 78 percent students said that they understood the concept of biodiversity when visited the agritourism centre. This included Crop, Bird, Reptiles, Insects,Farm animal biodiversity.
  4. First-hand authentic experience: Almost all 100 percent students agreed that they had first-hand experience in their life for watching milking cow, Petting the farm animals, bullock cart ride, touching the live fishes,boating, fishing, tasting the natural honey and watching the honeycomb.
  5. Recycling the Waste:Almost 100 percent students agreed that they learned the relationship between waste management and energy conservation when visited Biogas plant, recovering the valuable resources from waste (vermi compost).
  6. Value addition to the resources: Almost100 percent students agreed that agritourism centres have taught how to add value to the natural resources and increase their value when saw the use of farm lakes for erecting pond house, for aqua culture, for (Recreation i.e. boating, for rod fishing), for water conservation.
  7. Energy Conservation: Around 89 percent students agreed that agritourism centre conserve power resources. The students observed in the visit that agritourism centres were using power saving devices like CFL bulbs, Solar lanterns, Biogas waste for heating water, not using electronic recreational devices like television, air conditioners and telephone landlines in the tourists cottages.
  8. Awareness about environmental problems at local, national and international levels: About 74 percent students said that they realized thatagritourism teaches solution towards Global environmental issues like-

Ozone Depletion- through practicing organic farming,

Green House Effect- through the message of “Eat locally grown”, Optimum use of water through micro irrigation, Mulching of soil to retain the soil moisture etc.

  1. Linking classroom studies with industry: Nearly 82 percent students responded that they received information beyond the book. Agritourism is a part of tourism industry. Students visiting agritourism centres received knowledge from the field experts about various aspects like waste management, farming, apiculture,aquaculture.
  2. Innovative eco-friendly practices: Around 74 percent appreciated innovative ways of eco friendly practices such as information about Saguna Rice Technique (unique method of rice plantation without ploughing, puddling and transplanting on permanent raised beds), biological pest trap, integrated farming undertaken at Samarth Krupa Agritourism centre.

Conclusion

Agritourism being participatory tourism, the visitors actively participate in various farm operations and farm recreation and gain first-hand authentic experience. This paper concludes that students enjoyed field visit to agritourism centre than any other classroom teaching method and gain knowledge. Field visit to agritourism centres provided them knowledge about various concepts learned in the classroom. Students also learned that waste contains valuable resources therefore everything could be recycled. They further understood that sustainable agriculture is not impossible with optimum use of the natural resources. They learned about sustainable organic agriculture practices undertaken at agritourism centres which neither waste natural resources nor pollutes the environment. Thus,the paper concludes that field visits to the agritourism centre enhances environmental knowledge of the students. This is sufficient to prove that agritourism is an educational form of tourism. The Tourism Department of Maharashtra state has also identified the education potential of the agritourism and declared an important policy decision that “compulsory educational tour of school students to the agritourism centres”.

References

  1. Beall (1996) Agricultural Diversification and Agritourism: Critical Success Factors, Interim Report Presented to the Vermont Department of Agriculture, Food and Markets,
  2. Boučková B. (2008) Definition of Agritourism. AgroTourNet ‘S Hertogen Bosch 2008. vaiable from: www.agrotournet.tringos.eu/files/definition_of_agritourism.ppt 12/08/2009
  3. Carlos Enrique Carpio (2006), Two-Constraints Models of Consumer Demand: An Application to the Demand for Agritourism in the United States. A dissertation submitted to the Graduate Faculty of North Carolina State University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
  4. Fogarty David and Renkow Mitch, (1998).” Agritourism Opportunities for North Carolina”. Resource Economics and Policie (AREP97-2). Available online at www.bae.ncsu.edu/bae/programs/extension/publicat/arep/arep2.htm.
  5. Gregory Che, Ann Veeck, & Deborah Che, (2006).America’s changing Farmscape:A study of Agricultural Tourism in Michigan, The Professional Geographers, 58:3,235-248
  6. Hilchey, D. & Kuehn, D. (2001). Agritourism in New York: A market analysis.
  7. Hilchey, Duncan. 1993. Agritourism: Opportunities and challenges. Farming Alternatives. p. 1, 2, 11.
  8. Ollenburg,C. ( 2006). Farm Tourism in Australia- a family Business a Rural Studies Perspective”. Ph. D thesis Griffith University, Gold Coast, 2006
  9. https:www120.secure.griffith.edu.au/rch/file9e67d3aa-4ebl-af60eee0c07c3e5d-b90/1/02/ Whole.pdf.
  10. Pittman, H. M. (2006). Planting the Seeds for a New Industry in Arkansas: Agritourism. The National Agricultural Law Centre, [cited: 7.5.2013]. Available from http://www. National aglawcenter.org/assets/articles/pittman_agritourismse eds.pdf.
  11. Reynolds, K. A. (2005). Consumer demand for agricultural and on-farm nature tourism. Davis, CA: University of California.
  12. Taware, P. (2009). Agri-tourism: innovative supplementary income generating activity for enterprising farmers. ATDC, [cited: 06/08/2013]. Available from http://www.agritourism.in/pdf/Agri-Tourism_Concept_Note.pdf.
  13. Tourism Policy 2016
  14. Wall, G (2006) The nature of urban and community tourism. W. Jamieson (Eds.), Community Destination Management in Developing Economics. The Haworth Hospitality Press, New York
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An Education Tourism For The Students Of Environmental Studies. (2022, February 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 1, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/an-education-tourism-for-the-students-of-environmental-studies/
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