Number of workers in agro sector drops
KATHMANDU: The number of people employed in the agriculture sector has been gradually declining in recent years due to better opportunities in the service and manufacturing sectors, which are luring job-seekers in the domestic market.
The agriculture sector has provided employment to 60.4 per cent of the economically active or working age population in the current fiscal year, which is a drop of 5.4 percentage points as compared to the previous fiscal’s figure of 65.8 per cent, according to the Ministry of Agricultural Development (MoAD).
Agriculture sector has provided employment to 60.4 per cent of the economically active or working age population in the current fiscal year
According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, about 9.66 million people in the country are economically active and only 39.6 per cent are absorbed by the service and manufacturing sectors.
“The dominance of the agriculture sector in terms of job creation and economic growth has been gradually declining,” said Hem Raj Regmi, senior statistician of MoAD. However, agriculture (including forest) sector, which has been contributing 34 per cent in the country’s economy, is still the determining factor of economic growth.
Contribution of the agriculture sector is estimated to hover around Rs 611 billion in this fiscal due to a slump in the production of summer crops (mainly paddy) due to the late monsoon. The country’s agriculture sector had contributed Rs 614 billion in an economy worth Rs 1.94 trillion in fiscal 2013-14.
As per Regmi, the number of people employed in the agriculture sector is still comparatively high due to subsistence level farming in the country that needs to be mechanised to reduce the
demand of labourers in the sector. This will help utilise the growing population in other sectors, he added.
Regmi opined that foreign migrant returnees, who were dependent on agriculture sector before, are shifting to other professions and utilising their skills and capital in the service and manufacturing sectors.