If you own a farm, agrotourism is one business you should consider venturing into. It is a unique business venture that you as a farm owner can explore. Applying tourism in agriculture offers a unique experience for adults and children alike. Agrotourism will give you the opportunity to earn an income from your existing operations. You won’t have to set up shop somewhere else and can serve as a starter for future similar projects.
When you open up your farming business to tourists, you also increase awareness of the skills that go into your farming. Here are six ways you can make money through agrotourism:
1. Farmer’s Market
A farmer’s markets can have produce ranging from a seasonal fruits, selling cut flowers, maize, sweet corn, chickens, goats and vegetables. You can market these at community meetings, using flyers and by word of mouth. You can also merge with neighboring farms to bring your customers a variety of produce and products that are cheaper than the grocery stores. To be successful with a farmer’s market, you have to be close to a major highway. you also need to have signage on the highway. People will drive long distances to your farm if they can find everything they need and save money.
2. Petting Zoos
Add a petting zoo to your farms gives young visitors something to do. You can have a favourite petting zoo character such as a goat because it is curious and will give a good show to you little visitors. Other animals you can add to your petting zoo include bunnies, and ducks. The children can feed the chickens and go on a tractor ride. An interesting candidate is a donkey that the children can ride.
3. U Pick
These types of sales rely heavily on traffic volumes and good signs from the highway to promote sales. Oranges, mangoes, maize all work well for u-pick sales. If you don’t have a budget for farm pickers, U-pick is a good alternative. You can also have a few ready picked for clients that are in a hurry.
4. On Farm Dining
Bring people around to the farm to eat as well as experience the rural landscape. This can range from special occasion dining to a full service. An on farm dining experience can increase profits while promoting your other agrotourism activities. If you rear animals, your clients can choose their preferred cuts and you can specially braii them.
Partners with artists or artisans to bring a different vibe to your agrotourism venture. The premise should be that artisans will allow you to sell their work with no risk on your part. You can easily make 30 to 45% from such sales. Tourists that visit your farm for other activities can also visit your gift shop and could purchase local artisan crafts, as well.
Educational agricultural events like workshops or school field trips can also add to the bottom line. Furthermore, it can give you an opportunity to pass on your message about organic farming and sustainable living. School field trips bring a lot of happy people to your farm. They give you an audience and allow you to make good memories, while increasing profits.