Ministry of Agriculture Development is planning to launch youth focused programmes to attract them to agriculture and also to check labour outflows that have seriously hit the farm sector.
The proposed programmes focusing on livestock and crop production are aimed at retaining young people in the agricultural sector, said agriculture minister Tek Prasad Gharti Thapa speaking at a function to mark 33rd World Food Day., here today.
“The country needs to produce sufficient food grains to feed its increasing population," he said, adding that increasing engagement of youth in the agriculture could make it possible.
However, massive outflow of youth to Gulf and Malaysia – in search for a greener pasture – has left the villages with no workers reducing the agriculture productivity. Despite crop and cattle insurance programmes, the government has failed to attract youth to the farm as they see no sustainable income from agriculture.
World Food Day is marked worldwide on October 16 but the government celebrating event today promised to identify 1,000 potential young farmers for the special programme as the youth unemployment is one of the major problems. The success of the selected youth farmers could help motivate other youth to engage in agriculture, the minister added.
Celebrated under the theme 'Sustainable Food System for Food Security and Nutrition', the day also witnessed commitment to provide enough fertilizer and subsidised wheat seeds for the farmers, also to achieve the five per cent growth projection in agriculture for the current fiscal year 2013-14. Agriculture contributes one third to the GDP and its low performance means, the GDP will also suffer.
Agriculture Development Strategy to be implementedAgriculture Ministry is implementing Agriculture Development Strategy (ADS) from this fiscal year. Prepared with technical support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the 20-year vision strategy and a 10-year planning paper was handed over to agriculture minister Tek Bahadur Thapa Gharti by the director of Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Division of the South Asia Department of the ADB Takashi Matsuo, in July. The draft strategy with four strategic pillars – governance, productivity, profitable commercialisation and competitiveness –has envisaged agriculture-led growth as a key strategy in next two decades.