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Tourism brings Farmers additional revenue

Tourism brings Farmers additional revenue
AgriTourism is becoming a popular choice amongst local and international tourists who are looking for unique and different activities for their family, and sometimes their pet, to enjoy.  Many people have become interested in how and where their food is produced and are keen to meet farmers in order to learn and understand what goes into food production.


Visiting or staying on a farm can be loads of fun and educational for children.  Getting up close to a dairy cow or picking strawberries, apples or grapes gives children an appreciation and learning experience of where their food really comes from.  


Not only is AgriTourism great for tourists in terms of offering more cost effective accommodation and activities vs city hotels, the farmers and local communities benefit from an additional revenue stream.  AgriTourism accounts for approximately one third of some South African farmers’ income.  


AgriTourism Africa founder Jacqui Taylor said that due to a trend towards budget options holidays, farmers had come up with unique options to attract more tourists.


“We have noticed an increase in the number of members adding on to their existing offerings by thinking out of the box and coming up with ingenious luxurious tented camps, glamorous camping or ‘glamping’ experiences, as well as DIY camping offerings,” Taylor said .

Taylor said agri-camping and pet-friendly farm stays rank among the most popular offerings.


However, AgriTourism is not without challenges.  Taylor said that poor transport infrastructure, drive time and ease of access is taken into consideration when tourists plan their holidays. Often the rural roads are not tarred and numerous AgriTourism destinations are not on found on Google Maps.


“Language barriers, issues around safety and security, the impact of climate change, lack of signage, mobile device connectivity and available currency, rank equally among challenges faced by people in the AgriTourism sector,” Taylor said.



One of South Africa’s successful independent black commercial women farmers, Dr Brylyne Chitsunge, holds a PhD in Microbiology and farms Elpasso Farm near Centurion in Gauteng which was established in 2010 and covers more than 404 hectares. Chitsunge is an internationally acclaimed expert on agriculture and food security who encourages local farmers to research other agricultural options to increase their profits by introducing the AgriTourism revenue stream.


I feel strongly that agriculture can serve as an economic engine to combat poverty and create employment in developing nations,” said Chitsunge . We require new and creative financial instruments. We look to donors to be creative and we all know what has not worked. My entry in this business was driven primarily by anger at the inability of many of my contemporaries to see the value in agriculture as a business and a critical part of nation building.”


The Western Cape showcases a number of successful AgriTourism operations diversify farmers’ land usage.


Oudemuragie farm in Oudtshoorn is run by Maggie Fourie where she farms sheep. To capitalise on AgriTourism, she turned it into a guest farm in 1999.

Marianne Hemmes runs the Foxenburg Estate in Wellington and farms with goats and makes dairy products. She offers accommodation to the farm and runs educational tours for children, adults and farmers from overseas. Foxenburg Estate has been recognised as a priority biodiversity site in the Cape Floristic region and is a partner with Cape Nature in their stewardship program.

The !khwa ttu San community located on the Grootwater Farm in Yzerfontein are among the poorest people in the world but their unique storytelling ability and willingness to share their culture, which includes an ancestry traceable to the origins of humankind, have made them popular among tourists.

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Spier Wine Farm is a good example of a working farm, and will be the venue this year’s AgriTourism Summit Africa.  Should you wish to learn more about how to set up an AgriTourism venture on your farm and benefit the local community and business, save the date: 13 – 14 August 2020.  Follow AgriTourism Summit Africa developments here

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