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Opening of an Agro Tourist Farm in Palacagüina

Faustino Salcedo | May 2, 2012

Proodecoop ribbon cutting. | Photographer: Faustino Salcedo

Agricultural cooperative offers new tourism services as part of the project " Fincas Agro Turísticas de Nicaragua”.

This past Friday April 27th was the opening of the Agro Tourism Proodecoop farm in Palacagüina, department of Madriz. This was the first property benefited by the project "Fincas Agro Turísticas de Nicaragua" Agro Farms Tourist formulated by the Nicaraguan Tourism Board and the Swiss Cooperation in Central America, supported by the “Federación Nicaragüense de Cooperativas Agroindustriales FENIAGRO (Nicaraguan Federation of Cooperatives Agribusiness), the “Federación Nacional de Cooperativas FENACOOP (National Federation of Cooperatives) and the “Red Nicaragüense de Turismo Rural Comunitario RENITURAL-(Nicaraguan Network of Rural Community Tourism).

The opening last Friday is related to the new tourist services offered by Prodecoop. The farm was benefited with a loan of $70,000, provided by Caruna RL. According to Merling Presa, president of Prodecoop, this funding enabled them to develop tourist routes in the community, and enable them to build a shelter to house visitors. This farm can now be visited by the public; tours to the mountains are offered, plus a tour in the farm, which grows coffee and honey.

The rural community tourism, has the task of integrating natural resources in the daily life of rural communities, as one of its main features. In countries like Nicaragua is intended that rural communities make use of natural resources to promote tourism and thus create another revenue stream. Through this type of tourism, visitors can establish closer ties with the culture of each community.

The project Agro Tourism Farm began in 2009 and consist in providing advice and funding to farms of different areas of the country, to promote rural community tourism. According to Danilo Valerio, project coordinator: "We selected 96 farms that went through a review process, from which 36 are being given priority".

Valerio said that to participate in this project, each farm should be visited by a commission in charge of reviewing the infrastructure, quality of care, in addition to analyzing the tourism offer that each has. With the prioritized 36 farms, there will be 6 structured tourism routes in the areas where they are located, with the North been the place where the largest number of beneficiaries farms.

Nidia Pereira, representative of the Swiss Cooperation, said that one of the objectives of this project is to generate alternative income through community-based tourism, as well as impart workshops on quality, human development and tourism to the landowners, who will be now providers of tourism services.

According to organizers, this year it is estimated that 10 farms are ready to offer its tourist services. At the conference seven farms were given the Modernize quality seal, of Mexican origin, valid for one year, for participating in a course taught at INTUR in March. During the course they were trained to provide a better service and provide better conditions. In the month of December this year, they will provide a general report on the project.

Translated by Aída Pichardo