Kalu Hamal is a popular name among the agro-tourism entrepreneurs in Nepal. He has received presidential medal for being distinguished promoter of agro-tourism in the county. He is the first Nepali to promote agro-tourism. He hails from Tikapur region of western region. He was a weight lifter previously.
Recently he talked to Highlights Tourism during which he admitted that banana farming could possibly promote agro tourism in Nepal. Hamal has done his graduation in agriculture. So, he has studied all about all merits and demerits of agricultural products.
Hamal was of the opinion that banana plantation was very easy to be done in less extensive land with low cost and investment. But it could produce banana for 12 months and once planted this plant could last for all the time. Moreover, the products of banana do not need any storage room.
Hamal concluded that he had arrived at his final conclusion of banana farming to promote agro tourism after his 17 years of banana based agro-tourism experience.
In Nepal very few people are doing this plantation and agro tourism according to him. “I did collection of all banana breeds and selection of all types. It is spread in 11 bigash of land. We know only about agriculture, so why not bank on agro tourism, “said Hamal.
According to him most of the European and American countries lack the banana. “We have to see what is not there in the market. It is banana. So, agro tourism or natural tourism can promote Nepal’s tourism. Agro tourism has no alternative. Either do it or not. We can show out originality in agro tourism” said he. One of the Australian tourist told him that he had seen the new type of banana plantation here in Nepal.
“It is not man that moves, it is his desire that moves him. The sky is no limit for the real entrepreneurs,” said he.
About Banana Resort
Hamal also narrated about different type of farming of banana for resort. Banana resort here means farming of banana and eating the delicious dishes of banana inside the farmer’s field and house by making various edible dishes of banana in the banana resort located inside the farming of a farmer.
Hamal has been preparing 42 types of banana dishes which could be tested by any visitors and tourists arriving in his banana resort. For Hamal considering Nepal to be poor is not a sensible logic. For him it is poor mindset that makes it so and thinks in that way because we have a culture to depend on others.
“Why should depend on others. It is time for all to contribute to development and not condemn the government only, “said he.
Names of dishes made out of banana include pickle of banana, juice of banana. Hamal also talked about keeping a buffalo farming for agro tourism promotion. “I have opened beauty parlor for agriculture,” said he.
Hamal also indicated that we could produce domestic products from the banana, such as producing mushroom on leaf of banana. Handicraft products are some of the things that can be produced from banana.
”Tourism for us is to show what is local and farmer level products. Commercial market is different. Our products in resorts are local and cheap. Our resort is not using anything imported goods, “said he.
He also claimed that there are 16 staff members who are working for one of his restaurants which is located in one and half kattha of land. For him providing foreign made foods to tourists is not going to benefit the local people. “Why not use the local foods which are affordable and creative for the tourism,” said he.
He opines that there are two big economic countries. One is China and other is India. And we get what trickles from these two big countries.
Why we lack and remain poor is because we expect government to do everything. There are some complexities in agriculture. We have been doing agro tourism but we have not been recognized so far. Even Thailand has developed through agro tourism is the punch line of Hamal.
Agro tourism has so large area of possibility. We are only looking for iron ore, gold mines etc. People will come to agro tourism if no alternative are left with them said Hamal.
I think there is no challenge at all. Only we have to use some technology and some back up. We don’t need much investment also. What we lack is advertizing. Manpower is another challenge.
Message for farmers
‘Seeing is believing’ to do this agro tourism. Come to me and do it. Trust me. One journalist asked if I was satisfied. I said I was 100per cent satisfied. Any Nepali can do it anywhere without much land available.
We can provide technological support and not money. But it can bring future for Nepalis because Nepal is based on 60% agriculture. What is agriculture? Culture is related with civilization and doing it is more promotional and productive.
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