‘Agriculture sector has failed to attract youth’

Kathmandu, August 12

Agriculture Minister Chakrapani Khanal has said that the country’s agriculture sector has failed to attract youth in the sector.

Addressing the Asian Agriculture Summit and Exhibition (AASE) 2019 today, Minister Khanal said that the skilled youth prefer to go abroad rather than working here.

“Failure to upgrade and commercialise the agriculture sector of the country has deterred the youths of the country from being involved in this sector,” he said.

Stating that Nepal’s agriculture sector is progressing at a snail’s pace, he said it was no wonder no youth wants to invest their time and money in the sector.

Citing examples of countries like India, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, the minister said that Nepal is still in infancy in terms of modernising the sector.

“But we plan to change this situation in the near future,” said Minister Khanal, adding that the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development (MoALD) has recently introduced ‘Agriculture for Youth’ programme.

Under the programme, the ministry will provide agriculture education, training and a platform for the youth to commence their agriculture business.

The government has allocated a total of Rs 500 million for ‘Agriculture for Youth’ programme for this fiscal. The five-year programme will benefit 500 youths from different districts in the

first year.

After the candidates are selected, the ministry will provide them with at least three months of skill training and technical knowledge. The youths will be given training based on their interest and sent to related agricultural farms, zones and super-zones for practical knowledge. They will then have to frame business plans of their own area of work.

The programme will be a platform for youths in the learning phase and also those who are already skilled in technical sectors, as per MoALD.

The three-day AASE 2019 is being organised by 4-H Nepal — an agriculture-related NGO — and supported by MoALD and Ministry of Agriculture, Land Management and Cooperatives of Province 3. The event that is concluding on Tuesday is being participated by around 100 participants from Nepal, India, China, Indonesia, among others.