… it's all about tourism

Photo Courtesy: TAAN

Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) on Friday organized an interaction on ‘Organic Agro Tourism’ in Kathmandu.

Minister for Agricultural Development Gauri Shankar Chaudhary inaugurated the program.

Addressing the program, Chaudhary appreciated efforts made by TAAN for the promotion of organic farming and establishing linkage between organic farming and tourism. “If promoted well, it can benefit both tourism and agricultural sector. While farmers can get more benefits from tourism, the tourism industry will get high-end tourists as organic agro tourism is a niche tourism product worldwide,” he added.

At the program, TAAN announced that it would take necessary initiative to promote organic tourism on popular trekking trails like Kanchanjunga, Jaljala-Makalu, Jiri-Everest, Langtang-Helambu, Upper Mustang and Upper Dolpa, among others.

Speakaing at the program, Chandra Prasad Rijal, president of TAAN, said that the workshop was a part of TAAN’s efforts to share information among major stakeholders like the tourism ministry, agriculture ministry, ICIMOD, WWF Nepal and NTNC, among others. “Organic agro tourism is the next big thing in global tourism market. By certifying our tourism areas organic, we can bring high-end tourists from all over the world here,” he said. Stating that our farming technique is already organic, Rijal said: “We only need to brand it and promote it effectively in the international market.” Welcoming all the presidents, TAAN Treasurer Lila Baldab Dahal ‘Kaka’ said the workshop is TAAN’s efforts to establish linkage between agriculture and tourism. “Only some lodge owners are taking benefits from tourism in major trekking areas of the country. By promoting organic tourism, we want local people to get benefits from tourism,” he said, adding: “The government should help farmers for organic certification and find

Welcoming all the participants, TAAN Treasurer Lila Baldab Dahal ‘Kaka’ said the workshop was a part of TAAN’s efforts to establish linkage between agriculture and tourism. “The government should help farmers for organic certification and find market for their products,” he added. In his presentation, TAAN Executive Member Pemba Sherpa ‘Sherpa’ talked about the advantages of organic tourism not only to human health but also to

In his presentation, TAAN Executive Member Pemba Sherpa ‘Sherpa’ said organic tourism was important not only to human health but also to national economy. “By promoting organic farming, we can earn precious foreign currency as the world market is looking for organic tourism products,” he added.

Organic products ranging from walnut and Marsi rice from Jumla, apples from Dolpa, beans from Humla, sea buckthorn juice from Bajura and lentils of Chitwan were the major attractions of the program. There were stalls selling organic fresh vegetables, tea and coffee, honey, chestnuts, brown rice, and eggs, among others.

Delivering his vote of thanks, Karna Bahadur Lama, general secretary of TAAN, urged all concerned to support the ‘organic agro tourism campaign’ initiated by TAAN. “Now it is up to the tourism and agriculture ministries as well as other stakeholders to take the campaign forward as a national campaign,” he said, adding: “Effective development of organic agro tourism can stop exodus of youth to green pastures abroad by providing them with employment opportunities at home itself.”

Khumbi-Ila Samrakshan Pratisthan organized a Ghalegaun familiarization trip for home stay operators of Salyan VDC in Kaski from October 31 to November 2.

A 16-member team from Salyan VDC visited Ghalegaun, a model tourism village in the SAARC Region, and interacted with home stay operators on various issues ranging from welcoming guests, arranging food and drinks, souvenir making, and hospitality and hygiene, among others.

Zimba Zangbu Sherpa, president of Khumbi-Ila Samrakshan Pratisthan, said the fam trip was organized as per the request of the locals of Salyan VDC. “They have already started accommodating guests in their homes. They approached us to help them refine their services by building their capacity, and we readily obliged,” he said, adding, “We are hopeful that they have learnt a lot from Ghalegaun and will implement good practices in their village.”

Sherpa, who is also the managing director of Atalante Trekking & Mountaineering, said he would support home stay operators in Salyan VDC by asking his clients to rest in the village for at least a night.

“We selected Ghalegaun for the familiarization trip because Salyan and Ghalegaun have some similarities. Both the villages are way from the main trekking trail and both are rich in natural and cultural attractions. Locals have equal zeal to promote tourism in their villages,” he said, adding, “Also Ghalegaun is a model tourism village in the SAARC region.”

The team from Salyan VDC visited tea garden, Uttar Kanya temple, view tower and sheep farm in the village. They also interacted with members of the Ghalegaun Tourism Management Committee on several issues related to management of home stay tourism.

Bal Bahadur KC, president of Salyan Tourism Development Committee, said they would implement good practices of Ghalegaun in their village. “Ghalegaun is a popular home stay destination in the country and a model tourism village in the SAARC region. We are hopeful that the trip would help enhance our skills and capacity,” KC said. He also thanked Khumbi-Ila Samrakshan Pratisthan for their valuable support.

Devi Prasad Panta, secretary of Khumbi-Ila Samrakshan Pratisthan, said they would support locals of Salyan VDC by publishing brochures and other promotional materials. “Now they should meet tourism entrepreneurs of Pokhara and request them to include Salyan VDC in their itinerary,” he added.


Zimba Zangbu Sherpa, who is also the immediate past president of Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA), paid floral tributes at the statue of late Dr Harka Gurung on November 1 on the occasion of 41stNMA Day.

Gurung’s statue has been built on the premises of Gurung Museum in Besishahar. Late Gurung had played a crucial role in the formation of NMA. It was because of his initiation that the government had authorized NMA to collect permits of 18 peaks.

Bengal Florican

Bengal Florican (File Photo)

Census of Bengal Floricans, one of the world’s rare bird species, at Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve in Kanchanpur has begun.

The counting will continue till May 8.

This is the second time that counting of Bengal Florcians, locally known as Khar Majur, is being conducted. The first counting was held in the reserve last year.

Apart from Suklaphanta, the rare bird species is also available in Chitwan National Park and Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve. The bird had also been spotted in Bardiya National Park in the past. However, it has not been sighted in the national park for the past four years. Continue reading

Pallas's Cat

Pallas’s Cat (file photo)

Images of the small wild cat known as Pallas’s Cat was recorded through a camera trap installed in the northern reaches of Annapurna Area Conservation Project (ACAP) to monitor the movement of snow leopards.

According to conservation activists, this is the first time that the animal with Near Threatened (NT) conservation status in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species has been found in Nepal.

The animal was tracked twice at Aangumie Lapchay( 4,600 meters) and Praken ( 4,200meters) inside the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) in the district in December last year.

According to Wikipedia, Pallas’s cat was named after the German naturalist Peter Simon Pallas, who first described the species in 1776 under the binomial Felis manul.

“The cameras installed for the monitoring of the snow leopards tracked a new species of cat which was unknown to Nepali conservationists,” ACAP officials told a press meet in Kathmandu.

After a new species was recorded in the camera, ACAP had asked Angie Appel of Germany, Karna Shah of Nepal and Jim Sanderson of the US to carry out the study the on the newly found species. The team later confirmed the new animal to be Pallas’s cat.

The new cat species are approximately the same size and shape of domestic cat and can weigh p to 4 kg. They prey on insects and rodents.

Pallas’s cat has also been recorded in Khojir National Park of Iran and Wangchuck Centennial Park of Bhutan.

Bouddhanath Stupa

Bouddhanath Stupa (file photo)

Works have begun to renovate Bouddhanath Stupa, a UNESCO World Heritage site, after a gap of fifteen years.

The Bouddhanath Area Development Committee under the Ministry of Culture and Tourism have started renovation works. It is also painting the main stupa. A new coat of paint will be applied after plastering the dome.

“We are using paint this time instead of the plaster of Paris as we found that the temple had started to tilt due to the use of the plaster of Paris in the past,” Sampurna Kumar Lama, chairman of the committee, said.

He said the renovation and painting will cost four million rupees.

The committee also plans to construct modern rest rooms at two more places in the Bouddhanath area. The construct cost has been estimated at Rs 2.5 million.

The committee has also allocated Rs 3.1 million to install a 7.5-feet-tall statue of the Guru Rinpochhe Padma Shambhava at the local Ghilisang Peace Park.