Returnee migrants prioritise tourism and agriculture


A recent study has revealed that a large number of returnee migrant workers are willing to work in the tourism and agriculture sectors.

The study conducted by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Nepal has discovered that most returnees are not willing to go back abroad and would prefer to work in the country itself. The report has mentioned that agriculture, tourism, travel agencies, restaurants, catering business and fast-food shops are the sectors that the returnees have prioritised to be involved in.

As per the report, 36 per cent returnees want to work in the agriculture sector. Among them, 19.7 per cent want to continue with their traditional agriculture, work while 17.2 per cent want to begin new commercial agriculture businesses. Under the agriculture sector, poultry, fruit, vegetable and tea farming are the top-most prioritised sectors.

Similarly, 31.1 per cent of returnee workers want to work in the services sector. Under this category, 65.6 per cent returnees have shown an interest to work in the tourism industry.

Among the several tourism options, most of the workers are interested to work as tour and trekking guides while others are planning to open their own travel agencies, hotels and restaurants, reads the report.

The report has further mentioned that all the returnees from each province have expressed their unwillingness to return abroad for employment.

The study was conducted among 3,000 returnees from all seven provinces. All the respondents in the survey have mentioned that if they get jobs in Nepal itself then they would not go abroad again for work.

Almost all the respondents have stated that the government should provide financial assistance to the workers who want to start their own enterprises. As per the report, 41.4 per cent workers have stated that they will not go back abroad if they can earn at least Rs 50,000 per month in the country. Meanwhile, 25 per cent of the respondents would stay back in Nepal if they could earn not less than Rs 10,000 a month.

The report has further requested the government to coordinate among the related ministries and institutions for migrant repatriation process.

Similarly, the report has recommended for the arrangement of easy loan process and need-based production and income generation planning.

Responding to the report, Ram Kumar Phuyal, member of Nepal Planning Commission, assured that the recommendations made by the report would be implemented. “The government is aware about the returnee workers and is also planning for their settlement,” he said, adding, “I assure you that the government will implement these recommendations in its planning and do the needful to make them stay back in Nepal.”

The report was published on the occasion of International Migrants Day 2020.