GOI’s Farming Futures Initiative for Youth
India has the largest youth population in the world; Average age of the Indian population is 30 years, Youth and agriculture are the twin pillars for achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Around 66 per cent of the total population is below the age of 35, holds the potential for a promising future. However, despite nearly half residing in rural areas, only around five percent are currently involved in agriculture. This is simply because they do not find agriculture a creative, profitable and above all a respectable profession which can provide better living conditions. Because of which on serious note, youth from rural to urban areas migrate in search of employment.
To address this issue, it is essential for the government to ensure that basic necessities of life are available in rural areas. Also create employment opportunities for the youth. Without these measures, individuals will continue to move from rural to urban areas in pursuit of a better life and job opportunities.
Govt. Initiatives to attract Youth in Agriculture
1.Attracting and Retaining Youth in Agriculture (ARYA) functioning under ICAR
Acknowledging the vital contribution of rural youth to agricultural progress and ensuring food security of the nation, ICAR launched the “ARYA” program in the fiscal year 2015-16.
This initiative will be executed across 25 states through KVKs, targeting one district in each state. Within a chosen district, 200-300 rural youths will be selected for skill development in entrepreneurship, facilitating the establishment of micro-enterprise units aligned with their capabilities.
2. Student READY (Rural Entrepreneurship Awareness Development Yojana)
Initiated by ICAR in the 2015-16 through the reorientation of the Rural Agricultural Work Experience (RAWE) program. Student READY program in all undergraduate (UG) disciplines encompasses the following components for a year-long engagement.
Experiential Learning on Business Model / Hands on Training
Experiential Learning on Skill Development
Rural Awareness Works Experience (RAWE)
Internship / In-Plant Training / Industrial attachment
3. Start-up India – Ministry of Commerce and Industry Initiative
On January 16, 2016, the Government of India introduced Start Up India with the aim of promoting innovation and providing assistance to startups. The aim is to nurture a strong ecosystem that not only enhances economic growth but also generates substantial employment opportunities.
4. Stand-up India
The Stand-Up India Scheme Introduced on April 5, 2016, is all about supporting grassroots entrepreneurship. Led by the Department of Financial Services (DFS), this initiative encourages young individuals from scheduled castes and scheduled tribes to start their own businesses, aiming for economic empowerment and job opportunities.
5. National Skill Development Mission –
Introduced to foster collaboration across diverse sectors and states, aiming to enhance activities related to skills training.
6. Make in India –
Initiated by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in September 2014, the goal is to facilitate investments, promote innovation, develop top-notch infrastructure, and position India as a central hub for manufacturing, design, and innovation.
7. Skill India Mission –
Launched in September2014 by Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship. Under the Govt of India’s Skill India Mission (SIM), the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) delivers skill, re-skill and up-skill training through an extensive network of skill development centres/colleges/institutes etc.
8. Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY)-
Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) Launched in 2015, aims to boost skill development in the country. It offers free, short-duration skill training and incentivizes participants with monetary rewards upon skill certification. The overall idea is to enhance both industry growth and the employability of the youth.
9. PM-YUVA- (Yuva Udyamita Vikas Abhiyan) –
PM-YUVA, a centrally-sponsored scheme, focuses on entrepreneurship, education, and training of youth includes both men and women. The objective is to encourage entrepreneurship as an alternative career option and provide sustained mentoring support to potential and early-stage entrepreneurs.
As Young people bring energy, vitality and innovation into the workforce. Many young farmers engage in high-tech, high-risk and high-returns agri ventures like protected agriculture, precision farming, organic agriculture, floriculture, medicinal and aromatic plants cultivation, etc., which are mostly avoided by the aging farmers.
Skill development of rural youths will help in improving their confidence levels and encourage them to pursue farming as profession, generate additional employment opportunities to absorb under employed and unemployed rural youth in secondary agriculture and service related activities in rural areas.