My dear farming friends I had received some mails in which young men from some parts of the state had requested me to guide them in finding right information, regarding entrepreneurship programmes available in agriculture.
This made me think?
There are several hundred programmes available for rural youth in agri department and local Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) but when it comes to knowing the availability of correct information our youth don’t know where to search.
What agriculture needs today is a dynamic upright proactive leader with a vision.
In our country more than half its total population is under age 30. But almost 70 per cent of them are unemployed today. If you observe carefully, especially between the age group of 21 to 30.
Do a google search and you can find truckloads on information on how much per cent of India’s youth are unemployed and what per cent are living in villages and so on
If you talk about this to any technocrat or expert in agriculture thumbs down that almost 90 per cent will say that there are many vocations in agriculture for the youth to engage and make a profitable living. Not even one in 100 can accurately give details on what type of vocations are there, case studies of successful entrepreneurs and almost all cannot guarantee that those who plough the same line can succeed.
We all know that agriculture and its related jobs are not easy. It is physically demanding and risks are there. Assured income can never be guaranteed. Government and state Universities keep harping that many opportunities are there for youngsters in agri related fields.
The agriculture department and the state agriculture/veterinary universities through their Krishi Vigyan Kendras offer many courses for rural youth on different streams such as dairy farming, fish rearing, etc anything and everything under the sun related to farming.
Interested youngsters can attend the courses according to their choice. It can be on value addition, on poultry on dairy farming practically anything. You name it and the KVK have a course tailor made. Just visit any nearby KVK station or agri department and ask them personally to verify my statement.
But the irony is none of these classes ever talk about the risks, there is no information on what to do during monsoon failure, how to handle the issue if you do not get a bank loan, or where to contact whom for a specific issue. How many of you know that most of the curriculum is outdated and not practical.
If the government is keen to harness youth into agriculture then it should have a concrete plan. But irony is, neither the government knows how to do it, nor are there efficient bureaucrats or technocrats to guide the unemployed rural youth. Then how can we expect a son of a farmer to take up farming when he is seeing his father suffer economic losses with no one to help? We can only talk about this on platforms and meetings.
Dear friends, the saddest part about this is nobody is bothered about the farmer, nor his farming. In fact we have been reading right from school days that India is an agrarian country and India lives in its villages. But how many really care about whether a farmer gets a good price for his produce? If there is water shortage in the city we become panicky but have we ever spared a thought of what will happen if a farmer faces water shortage?
We have destroyed the agriculture system. We have stolen sands from the river, mined water indiscriminately.
If you visit any government agriculture website the tall promises they claim that agriculture can deliver or the success stories of most of the farmers if you take a closer look with a magnified glass are nothing further from truth.
This is the reality under which our farmers and their children are living today.
What agriculture needs today is a dynamic upright proactive leader with a vision. There is no use in resting on past laurels. The problem is becoming more complex and wider with every day.
There is a large youth per cent in villages which can be tapped effectively for rebuilding the damaged agri network. But it is not easy. It will take time and effort. For that we need a dynamic role model who has the time and patience for it.
We have destroyed the agriculture system. We have stolen sands from the river, mined water indiscriminately, felled thousands of trees, bribed ministers for postings, placed inefficient agriculture officers in prime positions, and what not
All this in the last 25 years and we continue to complain that farming is unrenumerative. Yes it is: but how to make it remunerative? Who can do it is the million dollar question?