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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTThis research project would not have been possible without the guidance and the help ofseveral individuals ...
ABSTRACTAs Bhutan is largely an agrarian economy where agriculture provides employment to two-third of the populace, the p...
TABLE OF CONTENTACKNOWLEDGEMENT..............................................................................................
LIST OF TABLESTable 1: Characteristics of Respondents........................................................................
producing a large variety of agricultural products across the different agro-economicalzones. Like in any other developing...
urban unemployment problem. The study is targeted at youths between the ages of 13 and 24years.Problem StatementYouths are...
study. This reference has been made especially in order to ensure the reliability andrelevance of the research data.LITERA...
activities. Based on his study it is concluded that economical characteristics are necessaryand critical factors, affectio...
RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONSCharacteristics of the RespondentsIndividual characteristics provided below in the table represents...
grains and vegetables over the imported food grains and vegetables. A very less percentageof 5.8% of the respondents have ...
attitude because the locally produced food grains and vegetables are less available and havelesser variety compared to the...
attitude respectively, which may be an indication that youths’ interest in farm work iswaning.Amongst those who have posit...
among the younger youths, i.e. 40.7%, 21.6% and 18.4% of older, mid and younger agedyouths respectively. This trend gives ...
Table 7: Reasons for unfavorable attitude                                                              Frequency    Percen...
it have slow and unpredictable return compared to 20% unemployed and 10.3% studentyouth.IV: Attitude towards Farming Caree...
Table 9: Reasons for unfavorable attitude                                                                Frequency     Per...
inverse relation between youth’s age and their willingness to take up agriculture as the lastoption, as youth’s age decrea...
Tafida (2007) and Uddin et al (2008). Based on the standard deviation (SD) and the Mean, a3-point scale similar to them wa...
scope of income generation as compared to other jobs and low reputation of farmer in the society. This may also be a reaso...
The study in brief showed that majority of youths like the local agricultural products (89%);they do not feel that farm wo...
5. Since it was found that youth’s attitude towards agriculture is worsening (by age), we   suggest that it’s high time th...
Department of Youth and Sports. (2012). National Youth Policy – 2011.Gross National Happiness Commission. (2010). Populati...
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Final attitude project

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Transcript of "Final attitude project"

  1. 1. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTThis research project would not have been possible without the guidance and the help ofseveral individuals who in one way or another contributed and extended their valuableassistance in the preparation and completion of this study.First and foremost, our utmost gratitude to Mr. Karma Thinley, Programme Director of theAgriculture Machinery Centre, who have accepted our internship proposal in yourorganization and given us the right opportunity to flourish our knowledge in doing researchand whose words of encouragement we will never forget.Madam Sonam Pem, Deputy Agriculture Executive Engineer of AMC for her guidance anduseful suggestions, which helped us in completing the project work in time. She shared theirknowledge, her ideas, and numerous tips all of which culminated in the completion of ourproject.We also would like to thank Mr Prabhu Nr.Pradhan, Chief Instructor of AgricultureMachinery Training Centre and all the staffs there who directly or indirectly provided allaccommodation and other facilities which made us comfortable to stay.Needless to mention, Mr. Kinzang, Regional Manager, AMC Bajo, who had been a sourceof inspiration and for his timely guidance for our data collection for the period of two weeks.Mr Sonam Tashi, senior lecturer of College of Natural Resources for the insight he hasshared through the mail whenever we contacted sir.This amazing organization is comprised of individuals with amazing talents all of whom arededicated to sharing their knowledge with others so that they too might go onto becomesuccessful in their lives. Lastly Special thanks also to all our friends, especially groupmembers for sharing their ideas and invaluable assistance. 1
  2. 2. ABSTRACTAs Bhutan is largely an agrarian economy where agriculture provides employment to two-third of the populace, the present study is an attempt to assess the attitude of rural youthswho have farming background, partly to gauge where the future of agriculture is headed. Italso seeks to study the sustainability of food sufficiency goal of nation as well as theconcerns of increasing rural-urban migration. The primary data were collected fromaround 400 rural youths across the country using a structured questionnaire and schedulingmethod. Data were analyzed using descriptive and non-parametric statistics. The studydepicts that majority of the Bhutanese rural youth are having moderately favorable attitudewith 65.46% while 19.5% and 15.04% of youth have favorable and unfavorable towardsagriculture. Despite the favorable attitude, the paper argues that the youth’s vulnerabilityrate of leaving agriculture sector and rural area is increasing and it is time for rightinterventions.Key words: Rural youth, agriculture and attitude 2
  3. 3. TABLE OF CONTENTACKNOWLEDGEMENT..........................................................................................................................1INTRODUCTION....................................................................................................................................4 Conceptual Definitions................................................................................................................6RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS.................................................................................................................9 Characteristics of the Respondents............................................................................................9 Attitude of the Bhutanese Rural Youths towards Agriculture.................................................9 I: Attitude towards Agriculture Products.............................................................................9 II: Attitude towards Farming Work....................................................................................11 III: Attitude towards Agriculture Income............................................................................13 IV: Attitude towards Farming Career.................................................................................15 Rural-Urban Migration: Is it going to be a bigger problem?...............................................17 Overall Respondents’ Attitude towards Agriculture .............................................................17 Findings......................................................................................................................................18CONCLUSION......................................................................................................................................19RECOMMENDATIONS.........................................................................................................................20REFERENCES ......................................................................................................................................21Alston, J. A. & Crutchfield, M. C. (2009). A Descriptive Analysis of the Perceptions of North Carolina4-H Agents Toward Minority Youth Participation in Agricultural-Related Activities. Journal ofExtension, 45 (5), 1-10.......................................................................................................................21 Loudon, L. D & Britta, D. (1992). Consumer Behavior: Concepts and Applications. www.ebay.com/ctg/Consumer...and...Della...Loudon...-/27583.......................................22 3
  4. 4. LIST OF TABLESTable 1: Characteristics of Respondents..............................................................................................9Table 2: Reasons for favorable attitude............................................................................................10Table 3: Reasons for unfavorable attitude.........................................................................................10Table 4: Reasons for favorable attitude.............................................................................................12Table 5: Reasons for unfavorable attitude.........................................................................................12Table 6: Reasons for favorable attitude.............................................................................................13Table 7: Reasons for unfavorable attitude.........................................................................................14Table 8: Reasons for favorable attitude.............................................................................................15Table 9: Reasons for unfavorable attitude.........................................................................................16Table 10: Overall Respondents Attitude towards Agriculture...........................................................18INTRODUCTIONThe Bhutanese economy is dominated by Agriculture, providing livelihood to about 2/3 ofthe total population (Mehta, 2012). Bhutan has a large diverse biodiversity capable of 4
  5. 5. producing a large variety of agricultural products across the different agro-economicalzones. Like in any other developing country, agriculture for Bhutan has great implicationson food security, rural employment, livelihoods, economic and political stability besidesbeing a significant trade produce (Tobgay, 2006). Agriculture remains a large priority forBhutan, and the government has already committed to attain national food self sufficiencysince the 5th five year plan.Approximately one-third of the world’s population is currently between the ages of 10 to 24years (Rashid & Gao, 2012). Of the total 708,265 populations in Bhutan, approximatelymore than 150,506 are youth (13-24 years), which consists of more than 21.25 percent of thetotal population (708265). This age group will contribute substantially to population size ofBhutan in future. Therefore, in general Verma, Lal & Bhimawat (2012) believe that youth’spower has to be used properly in developmental processes for the country.The demographic composition and pressure on the country’s socio-economic conditions ischanging. Adolescent and youth population is rising (Population Perspective Plan Bhutan,2010) and consequently there are greater challenges facing them. As observed by Chua(2008), Bhutanese youths are generally reluctant to accept employment that is rural-basedand manual-intensive. Many students leave school with aspirations of white-collar jobs,especially in the more prestigious civil service industries where there is job security, theestablished nine to five working culture, and flexibility at work. As a result, rural-urbanmigration is becoming more rampant and studies have indicated a shortage of farm laborbecause of which most of the land remains fallow (Tobgay, 2005). On the other hand, urbanyouth unemployment is rising and urban areas are facing an increasing youth problems.Whatsoever the situations, youth is ultimately one of the greatest assets in any country andtheir significance cannot be further emphasized than what the His Majesty the two Kingshave enunciated: The future of the nation lies in the hands of our younger generations. It is, therefore, crucial that they live up to our high expectations and ensure the continued well-being of the people and security of the nation. His Majesty King Jigme Singye Wangchuk I have always believed that a nation’s future is mirrored in the quality of her youth and that it is the government’s sacred duty to provide a good education and a conducive environment for young people to become strong, capable leaders for the future. His Majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyal WangchuckFor the dominant agriculture sector that will remain as the nation’s greatest potential inachieving the goals of food self sufficiency, rural youths are the future. This study is anattempt to study the attitude of the Bhutanese rural youths towards Agriculture and it isexpected that it will reveal some key underlying reasons behind their favorable orunfavorable attitude towards Agriculture, so that it can provide ways to gear the governmentpolicies and initiatives accordingly towards a desired future, simultaneously addressing the 5
  6. 6. urban unemployment problem. The study is targeted at youths between the ages of 13 and 24years.Problem StatementYouths are the future and their significance can never be ignored. Despite the prevalence ofincreasing urban youth unemployment and rural-urban migration, no studies have beenconducted to assess the attitude of the rural youths towards Agriculture which provideslivelihood to some 69 % of the Bhutanese populace and, which remains the core of nation’sgoal of attaining food self sufficiency.Research Questions a. What is the attitude of rural youths towards Agriculture? b. What are the factors influencing their attitude?Objectives a. To determine the attitude of the rural youth towards Agriculture b. To explore the major reasons behind their favorable or unfavorable attitudeConceptual DefinitionsAttitudeThe term, attitude means a set of tendencies, views, and beliefs of an individual abouthis/her environmental factors, and this tendencies and belief will be stabilized based onenvironmental effect, the gained experiences and the period of time (Rafiepour, 1993, ascited in the study of Mosaee & Ommani, 2011). One more theorists Lewiston, whoapproached attitude traditionally, notes that attitude is composed of three principalconstituents such as perception, feelings and behaviour. Loudon and Della Bitta (1993) notethat attitude is how for or against, positively or negatively, favorably or unfavorably aperson regards a particular object.For our study, attitude means an enduring perception, feelings and behavior of individual, beit is favorable or unfavorable, about the factors identified for the study.Rural YouthIn the absence of a standard definition for rural youth, age, permanent residence andoccupation of their parents were taken as the main factors to define rural youth for thepurpose of the study. The age group between 13-24 years has been considered as defined bythe Department of Youth and Sports (2010) as the official definition of Bhutanese youth.Their permanent place of residence has to be a rural area and it was made that only thoseyouths whose both or either of the parents is/are farmer are accepted as samples for the 6
  7. 7. study. This reference has been made especially in order to ensure the reliability andrelevance of the research data.LITERATURE REVIEWAccording to Mitchell (1993) as cited in the study of Alston & Crutchfield (2009) differentdemographic estimates indicate that ethnos populations are gradually increasing, and moreof these youths will need to be recruited into agriculture-related careers in order to sustainthe agricultural industry for the future. Tally (1996) believes that the lack of youthrepresentation in the production and sale of agricultural commodities can be greatlyattributed to traditional perceptions of agriculture. Thus, Alston & Crutchfield (n.d) statedthat youth perceptions on agriculture may be developed from parents, educationalinstitutions, and agencies.People witness agriculture as significant to their daily lives with respect to what they eat andin how food is processed, but they do not see the relevance of participating in agriculture asa career, particularly minority populations (Alston & Crutchfield, n.d). Similarly, their studyshows that youth do not participate in agricultural programs because of perceptual concernsregarding the industry. So, it is important to understand youth attitudes and beliefs aboutagriculture (Thompson & Russell, 1993).A study conducted by Stewart and Sutphin (1994) that educational interventions are neededto encourage youths to better understand agriculture. Therefore, Burnett, Johnson, andHebert (2000) has put forward that the mission of 4-H is to assist youth in acquiringresearch-based knowledge in agriculture. Youths perceptions of agriculture in urban areasdiffer from those in rural areas (Alston & Crutchfield, n.d). Thompson and Russell (1993)enjoined that groups with more positive beliefs and intentions towards agriculture arepersons with formal education beyond high school.But Ovwigho & Ifie (2009) has concluded that the youths have negative attitude towardsagricultural development interventions. Similarly, they stated that lack of basic infrastructurein rural areas, lack of modern agricultural equipment, and lack of land, lack of creditfacilities or subsidies, and poor income were the problems influencing against youthparticipation in agriculture. Hence, they found that the much anticipated food sufficiencycan only be achieved in the country if the youths are motivated to take up agriculture as asustainable means of livelihood. This could be achieved by providing large tract of land forthe youth, provision of credit facilities or subsidies and rural infrastructure.In many parts of the world, agriculture activities and rural people can increase the income ofthe rural poor and provide bigger employment opportunities (Omelehin et al., 2007) (cited inthe work of Bahaman, et al., 2010). Lenihen et al., (2009) has also commented that ruralcommunity has better level of acceptance and attitude towards agricultural activities. In astudy Sedighi (2005) concluded that there is significant relation between economicalsituation, range of arable land, mechanization and attitude of rural youths to agricultural 7
  8. 8. activities. Based on his study it is concluded that economical characteristics are necessaryand critical factors, affection attitude of rural youths for working in these areas.Vissaria (1998) believes that non-formal education and social activities played a critical rolein professional activity development and preventing immigration of rural youths to otherareas.MATERIALS AND METHODSData for the study was collected from rural youths, with help of structured survey schedulesand questionnaires. A youth was identified as a person aged between 13 to 24 years,according to the Department of Youth and Sport’s definition (National Youth Policy, 2010).The dependent variable, attitude, was measured with help of a 5-point Likert scale (Likert,1932, cited in the work of Abdullahi et al, 2010), a method which is now one of thedominant in measuring people’s attitudes, views and experiences (Taylor and Heath, 1996,cited in the work of Abdullahi et al, 2010). The independent variables: Gender, Age,Educational status and current status were measured by devising categorical scales. Thecollection of data took place during 31st December to 19th January 2012.The population of the study was all the rural youth, which comes to an approximate figure of153144 (Bhutan at a Glance, 2012). The Sample Calculator available online(http://www.surveysystem.com/sscalc.htm) gave a sample size of 400. Due to the limitedtime available for the study, convenient sampling was adopted. 8
  9. 9. RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONSCharacteristics of the RespondentsIndividual characteristics provided below in the table represents that majority of therespondents were from the middle aged youth whose ages range between seventeen totwenty years. Youths who are pursuing or had pursued undergraduate courses are the highestproportion of respondents while there is only one case of illiterate youth.Table 1: Characteristics of Respondents Variable Categories Frequency Percentage Gender Male 207 50.4 Female 204 49.6 Age Younger youth (13-16) 96 23.1 Youth (17-20) 175 42.2 Older youth(21-24) 144 34.7 Educational status Illiterate 1 .2 Non-formal Edu.(NFE) 3 .7 Primary 2 .5 Lower Sec (7-8) 16 3.9 Middle Sec (9-10) 122 29.5 Higher Sec (11-12) 116 28.1 Under Graduate (>12) 153 37.0 If educated, current status Student 351 84.8 Employed 26 6.3 Unemployed 37 8.9Based on these descriptive statistics, the education status of the respondents has beenreformed into three categories, i.e. low: classes below eleventh standard, mid: class elevenand twelve, high: above twelfth standard, primarily for the convenience and relevance ofperforming cross analysis.Attitude of the Bhutanese Rural Youths towards AgricultureAgriculture is a broad concept that concerns so many different aspects but for the purpose ofthis study, it has been marginalized only to farming that also has been further narrowedsolely to the production of food grains and vegetables because they necessitate a similarnature of work input and are indeed widely grown throughout the country. Agricultureproduct, farming work, income and career has been taken into consideration in order tostudy the attitude of the youths towards agriculture in a more comprehensive manner.I: Attitude towards Agriculture ProductsThroughout this study, agriculture product refers exclusively to food grains and vegetables.A majority of 89.4% of respondents have a favorable attitude toward locally produced food 9
  10. 10. grains and vegetables over the imported food grains and vegetables. A very less percentageof 5.8% of the respondents have unfavorable attitude towards the locally producedagriculture products. The study revealed that, among those respondents who have favorableattitude, though insignificant (chi2 sig. value=0.92), female respondents have higherpercentage (92.9%) compared to male (85.9%). So far as the youths’ age is concerned, thereis a significant difference between age and their attitude (chi2 sig. value=.044From themajority of respondents having favorable attitude, the older youths whose ages rangebetween 21-24 years have the highest representation with 93.8% compared to 88.7% and84% of middle aged (17-20) and younger youths (13-16) respectively . Corollary, from thosehaving unfavorable attitude, the younger youths have the highest percentage by 10.1%compared to mid and older youths (7.3% and .8%). Thus, it is a cause of concern for thecountry since the youths’ attitude towards the local agriculture products is declining at atime where the government is striving so hard to enhance the local food production. ).Though there is no significant difference ( chi2.value = 0.108) between current status andyouth preferring locally produced food grains and vegetables, those youth who are employedhave the highest proportion of respondents with 94.4% compared to 89.1% student and88.2% unemployed who have favorable attitude towards locally produced food grains andvegetables.Table 2: Reasons for favorable attitude Frequency PercentageEasily available 58 18.5Organic and nutritious 206 65.6Delicious and appetizing 45 14.3Other reasons 5 1.6Total 314 100Table 3: Reasons for unfavorable attitude Frequency PercentageExpensive 4 21.1Poor quality 3 15.8Less availability and variety 12 63.1Total 19 100Amongst those who like the local food grains and vegetables, a proportion of 67%, 27% and6% of youths like vegetables, paddy and other food grains respectively. From the abovetable it is evident that a majority of 65.6% of respondents are having positive attitudetowards locally produced food grains and vegetables over the imported products because itis organic and nutritious, which simply is an indication that Bhutanese youths are muchconcerned about health and nutrition. A majority of 63.1% of the youths have unfavorable 10
  11. 11. attitude because the locally produced food grains and vegetables are less available and havelesser variety compared to the imported products (mostly Indian) that are easily availableeverywhere and provide a greater freedom of choice every time.Both sexes have similar opinion regarding their reasons behind having significant favorableattitude towards our local agricultural products. For instance, it was observed that a majorityof 69.7% and 62.3% of male and female respectively thinks that Bhutanese agriculturalproducts are organic and nutritious. As far as education status is concerned, an ascendingpercentage of 56.1%, 66.7% and 71.4% of youths pursuing classes below eleven, betweeneleven and twelve and above twelve respectively were found to be positive becauseBhutanese agricultural products are organic and nutritious. This shows that higher theeducational status, the youth are more concerned about their health. Likewise, 88.2% ofemployed youths compared to unemployed and students (with 83.3% and 62.1%respectively) are concerned about their health keeping aside taste and accessibility.The entire female respondents who expressed negative attitude towards agriculture reasonedthat unavailability of Bhutanese agriculture products (i.e. supply) at their demand is thesingle cause. This confirms that females are ready to buy or consume the local products aslong as there is a supply. However, a certain proportion of male youths are skeptical aboutthe cost and quality of local products (26.7% and 20% of them). The younger youthsconstitute the highest proportion (with 37.5%) of respondents who are anxious about theprice of local agricultural products compared to middle-aged and older youths having arepresentation of 10% and nil respectively. Controversially, they are the least concernedabout quality (0%). But, though statistically insignificant, education seems to have somebearing upon the attitude of youths. For instance, from a class of three respondentscategorized based on their education level, i.e. low: below eleven, mid: eleven and twelve,high: above twelve; it was found that the first category are most concerned about price, i.e.37.5% of them compared to 16.7% and 0% of the two latter categories respectively. On theother hand, the former group constitutes the highest proportion of respondents who are leastconcerned about quality, i.e. 0% of them compared to 16.7% and 40% of the latter twocategories respectively. Thus, it can be concluded that higher the education level, the youthsare lesser concerned about price but more concerned about quality which may be certainlyconsidered a very positive influence of education.II: Attitude towards Farming WorkFarming work here refers exclusively to the physical or mental effort required to producefood grains and vegetables only. So far as the youths’ attitude towards farming work isconcerned, it was found that 55 % has favorable attitude while 36 % has unfavorableattitude. Out of 207 male and 204 female respondents, it was revealed that an insignificantdifference with 57.5 % and 52.5 % of male and female had favorable attitude towards farmwork respectively (chi2 sig. value=0.552). The study also revealed that younger the youths,their attitude towards farm work is more negative. A declining percentage of 42.7%, 38.3%and 30.6 % of younger, mid and older aged youths were observed to have an unfavorable 11
  12. 12. attitude respectively, which may be an indication that youths’ interest in farm work iswaning.Amongst those who have positive attitude towards farm work, majority of 73 % prefersworking in vegetable production, 20.3% in paddy and 6.8% in other food grains. Some ofthe major reasons behind why youths have favorable or unfavorable attitude towards farmwork are as depicted in the tables below:Table 4: Reasons for favorable attitude Frequency PercentNatural passion to work 47 21Brought up in such situation 63 28Availability of modern machines, tools and equipments 108 48Others 7 3Total 225 100Table 5: Reasons for unfavorable attitude Frequency PercentVery tiring and backbreaking 38 26Insufficient access to modern technologies 41 28Requires constant laborious effort 59 41Others 6 4Total 144 100The main reason behind the favorable attitude turned out to be the availability of modernmachines, tools and equipments which indeed is a big compliment to the Ministry ofAgriculture’s determined efforts, particularly through the Agriculture Machinery Centre(AMC). Yet, on the other hand, it was revealed that, of those having unfavorable attitudetowards farm work, the reasons were directly related to drudgery, which itself is the missionof AMC. Therefore, there is a lot of scope for AMC to change the future of agriculture interms of farm work. Indeed, the past records have proved that mechanization has broughtabout immense impact on alleviating drudgery.Observing the pattern of attitude between male and female, it is notable that female are moreoptimistic towards farm work. 22.3% of female has natural passion towards farm workcompared to 18.6% male. There is a significant difference in the attitude of younger, middleand older aged youths towards farm work (chi2 sig. value=0.016). 61.2% of younger, 50%of mid-aged and 38.4% of older youths are positive because of the availability of modernmachines, tools and equipments in agriculture, implying that younger youths are moreinclined towards the mechanization of agriculture. It is also a good indication of a brighterfuture for agriculture because mechanization efforts are very strong at the moment. But it isquite disturbing to note that the proportion of respondents who have positive attitudetowards farm work because they were being brought up in such situations is declining 12
  13. 13. among the younger youths, i.e. 40.7%, 21.6% and 18.4% of older, mid and younger agedyouths respectively. This trend gives a vague picture that youths’ participation in farm workis declining over the years or either the younger youths are not as optimistic as the olderyouths towards farm work despite their participation.Very interestingly, it was found that employed youths (60% of them) are the highestproportion of respondents who have negative attitude towards farm work for the reasonbecause it is very tiring and backbreaking for them. This makes it clear that the employedyouths have made the right choice. On the other hand, it was found out that 62.5% ofunemployed youths are pessimistic because of insufficient access to modern technologies.The majority of students (representing 44.3%) are of the opinion that farm work requiresconstant laborious efforts. In fact, the latter two findings make it clear that there are a lot ofopportunities where interventions in the form of mechanization efforts can bring massivechanges.III: Attitude towards Agriculture IncomeFor the purpose of the study, agriculture income refers exclusively to monetary gains thatresult due to production and sale of food grains and vegetables only. In general 77% of therespondents responded that they believe they can earn hugely from producing and sellingagricultural products while 12.2% responded that it is not favorable to earn so. Male andfemale has similar attitude towards agriculture income. 75.4% of male and 78.4% of femaleresponded positively.From a majority of 77% who are having a constructive attitude towards income generationfrom local production and sale of food grains and vegetables, those youths who are pursuingor have pursued classes up to ten is the highest proportion of respondents with 84.3%compared to those who have pursued or pursuing middle secondary classes andundergraduates with 76.7% and 70.6% of them respectively. This was proved statisticallysignificant with a chi2 value of 0.021 and it is an implication that higher the education level,the youths are more vulnerable to leave agriculture. Though the government has recognizedagriculture as a profitable sector, it is unlikely that the higher educated lots would not takeup agriculture business.Most of the respondents who have responded favorably have selected vegetables as the mainsource of generating income with 66.3% followed by 24.8% towards paddy and 8.9%towards other food grains.Table 6: Reasons for favorable attitude Frequency Percent There is a growing demand for locally produced agriculture product 177 56.9 Scope of producing more at lesser cost due to use of modern farming methods 65 20.9 I have good knowledge & skills about farming and business 61 19.6 Other 8 2.6 Total 311 100 13
  14. 14. Table 7: Reasons for unfavorable attitude Frequency PercentStrong competition from Indian vendors 20 41Unpredictable outputs 10 20Inadequate farming experience 5 10Lack of accessible markets 7 14Slow and unpredictable return 7 14Total 49 100The study revealed that majority of 56.9% are having positive attitude towards incomegeneration from agriculture production because of a growing demand for locally producedfood grains and vegetables whereas only 20.9% and 19.6% are having positive attitudebecause the scope of producing more at lesser cost is higher and they have good knowledgeand skills about farming and business respectively. The most common factor that hasinstigated negative attitude of the Bhutanese youths towards earning favorable agricultureincome is due to strong competition from Indian vendors. 20% are negative because of theunpredictable output that has to depend on so many factors such as weather, naturalcalamities, animal threats, etc. The study also depicted that market, return and experiencewere not very big problems for the rural youths who thinks that they cannot earn profitablyfrom production and marketing of food grains and vegetables.From the majority who have constructive attitude towards income generation because thereis a growing demand for locally produced food items, though the chi-square test ofIndependence showed no significant difference (sig. value=0.92), male have the highestpercentage with 59.3% compared to 54.5% of female. But on the other hand female have thehighest percentage for both reasons i.e. scope of growing at lesser cost due to use of modernfarm methods and possession of good knowledge and skills about farming and business with23.1% and 20.5% compared to male with 18% and 19.3% respectively. For other twocategories i.e. age and current status of youth having positive attitude because there is agrowing demand for locally produced food grains and vegetables, younger youth andunemployed youth are having the highest proportion compared to older youth (59.2%) andyouth (53.6%), student (57.3%) and employed (43.5%) respectively.Half of the male youths (50%) feel that they cannot earn hugely from producing and sellingagricultural products because of the strong competition from Indian vendors compared tofemale (30% of them). There is a likelihood that male would be more encouraged to take upagriculture for business if import of food grains and vegetables is banned. But, unlike male,majority with 40% of female youths are more apprehensive about the unpredictable outputcompared to only 7.1% of male youths. 60% of unemployed, 41% of students and 25% ofemployed youths feel that they cannot earn hugely from agriculture owing to the massiveimport of agricultural products from the neighboring countries, especially India. Half ofemployed youth have negative attitude towards income generation from agriculture because 14
  15. 15. it have slow and unpredictable return compared to 20% unemployed and 10.3% studentyouth.IV: Attitude towards Farming CareerFarming career here in this study refer exclusively to career as a farmer, engaged typically infood grains and vegetables only. Primary data reveal that the rural youths’ attitude towardsfarming career, i.e. to become farmer in future, is quite negative. 44% of them haveunfavorable attitude against 37% of them having favorable attitude. It was found that genderhas a significant impact upon their attitude towards farming career (chi2 sig. value= 0.029).Majority with 51% of female has unfavorable attitude compared to 38.6% of male youths.21.7% and 14.7% of male and female respectively are indifferent while a similar patternwith 39.6% and 34.3% of them respectively has favorable attitude, which in unison, may bean indication that there are more probabilities that interventions towards encouragingfarming career may have greater impact upon the male folks. The youths having pursued orare pursuing classes up to tenth standard were found to be having lesser negative attitudetowards farming career as compared to those having middle and higher education with aproportion of 36.4%, 47.4% and 51% respectively. Likewise, this response group alsoconstitutes the highest proportion of respondents having positive attitude towards farmingcareer with 45.7%. The relation between education status and their attitude is statisticallysignificant with a Pearson chi2 sig. value of 0.038. This finding implies that education levelhas a negative impact upon the youths’ attitude towards farming career. The higher a personis educated; they are more vulnerable to leave the agriculture field. Data also indicate thatthe employed are more negatively inclined towards farming career (53.8% of them) whichmakes it imperative that the employed are not very likely to go back into agriculture. At thisbackdrop, it is surprising to note that the unemployed are more positive minded towardsfarming career compared to the students with 43.2% and 37% respectively.There are high probabilities that farmers in the near future will opt to work in vegetables(representing 70.5%) against paddy and other food grains(21.5% and 8.1% respectively) thatthe study have taken into consideration. Other agriculture produce such as forestry,horticulture, husbandry, etc has not been taken into the present study.Table 8: Reasons for favorable attitude Frequency Percent Passion to work 33 22 Parents will 10 7 Good way of leading a self reliant life 67 44 More scope in future 38 25 No other alternatives 3 2 Other reasons 1 1 Total 152 100 15
  16. 16. Table 9: Reasons for unfavorable attitude Frequency Percent Low reputation of farmer in the society 46 26 Limited scope of income generation compared to other sectors 49 28 Poor physical and social amenities in rural areas 62 35 Other reasons 20 11 Total 177 100The most common reason behind the favorable attitude of rural youths towards farmingcareer is their belief that being a farmer is a good way of leading a self reliant life. On theother hand, the most common reason behind why the youths have a negative attitude is dueto poor physical infrastructures and social amenities in the rural areas.Both genders agree indifferently that agriculture is a good way of leading a self reliant life.Likewise, both male and female have similar level of passion to work in the agriculture fieldwith a representation of 21.3% and 22.1% respectively. Out of a low proportion of 6.8%respondents who expressed positive attitude towards farming career because it was theirparent’s will, it was found that 2.5% and 11.8% of male and female respectively fall underthis spectrum. This indicates that female youths are more passionate to follow their parent’sfootpath.From those respondents who don’t want to become farmer, it was notable that 58% of themwant to join in government sector, 19.3% in private and 22.2% in business sector. Despitethe development of private sector in the country, it was found that this sector is the leastpreferred by the youths. There is a significant difference in the youths’ preference ofeconomic sectors and their current status, viz. students, employed and unemployed with aPearson chi2 value of 0.047. 87.5% of the unemployed chose government sector while76.9% and 53.5% of employed and students respectively did so. 25.4%, 15.4% and 0% ofstudents, employed and unemployed chose business. This is a clear indication thatunemployed youths have been or are simply waiting for a government job and are notwilling to take risk to start up their one’s own business. Amongst those who opts privatesector, majority with 21.1% of students prevail.Though 44% of respondents are not willing to take up farming as their first and primaryoccupation, 61.3% of the total is willing to take up farming as a last option if they do not getemployed in any other sectors. Among those who are willing to take up agriculture as thelast option, female youth are the one who are having the highest response with 70.7% whilemale youth have only 47.9% representation. This shows that, under extreme economicconditions, females are more likely to become farmers than men with a statistical differenceof 0.002. There is a danger that agriculture sector would face shortage of men force in thefuture. A descending percentage of 77.5%, 59.2% and 52.5% belongs to younger youth,youth and older youth who are willing to take up the agriculture as a last option if they don’tget employed in any other sectors (chi2 sign. value of 0.038). This indicates that, there is an 16
  17. 17. inverse relation between youth’s age and their willingness to take up agriculture as the lastoption, as youth’s age decreases, their willingness to take up agriculture as a last optionincreases.Though there is less proportion of youths who want to become farmers in their life, a vastmajority of 92.7% of youths said that they are willing to grow vegetables for themselves ifthey have gardens even if they may be a Government servant earning reasonably. Thisindeed is a very positive response from the youths towards moving the country closertowards the goal of national food security. Both sexes have indifferently high positiveresponse (chi2 Sig. Value = 0.582). So far as the age group is concerned, an ascendingpercentage of 87.4%, 93.6% and 96.5% of younger, middle and older youth are willing togrow their own vegetables. Thus, it can be concluded that the younger youths aresignificantly (at a chi2.sign.value=0.022) more hesitant to work in vegetable gardens thoughresources are available to them.Very interestingly, it was found that despite the rural youths not desiring to become farmerthemselves, majority of them also do not want their spouses to be farmers. In general, 58.8%of the rural youths responded that they are ready to marry with a partner whose occupation isfarmer. In particular, more of male youths with 68.5% of them are willing to marry withsuch a partner as compared to 48.30% of female youths. With regard to the age, moreproportion of the older youths(70.7%) are willing to marry with a partner who is a farmerthan the middle-aged and the younger youths with a representation of 57.2% and 44.2%respectively. This makes it clear that younger the youths, they are more reluctant to have alife partner who works as a farmer. Low educated youths are significantly more reluctant tohave life partners as farmers with a chi2 sig. value of 0.012, i.e. 49.6%, 43.4% and 32.7% ofyouths who have studied classes up to eleven, eleven and twelve and above twelverespectively are not ready to marry with a farmer.Rural-Urban Migration: Is it going to be a bigger problem?Though the respondents constitute of youths who are brought up in the rural areas, it wasfound that majority of 51.1% of them wants to settle in the urban areas. Specifically, itturned out that majority of female (59.7% of them) desires to settle in the urban in contrastto 56.4% of male desiring to settle in the rural places at a chi2 significance value of 0.001.There is a significant relationship between the age of the youths and their preference offuture settlement (sig. value= 0.012). 57.6%, 47.4% and 38.3% of older, middle and youngeraged youths respectively want to settle in the rural so there are high chances that the rural-urban migration would even become a greater problem in the future.Overall Respondents’ Attitude towards AgricultureThe overall respondents’ attitude towards agriculture was determined based on their meanscore and the standard deviation, as earlier used by Abdullahi et al (2010), Gidado (2003), 17
  18. 18. Tafida (2007) and Uddin et al (2008). Based on the standard deviation (SD) and the Mean, a3-point scale similar to them was used to categorize the respondents‟ attitude as follows:favorable: those whose total scores were less than the mean minus the SD (scores < (Mean-SD), moderately favourable: whose scores range from the mean minus the SD to the meanplus the SD (scores from (Mean-SD) to (Mean+SD), and unfavourable: those whose totalscores were greater than the sum of the mean and SD (scores > (Mean+SD).Table 10: Overall Respondents Attitude towards Agriculture Bhutanese Rural youths (N=359) Categories of attitude Number Percent Mean SD Unfavorable (<11.51) 54 15.04 Moderately favorable (11.51-16.98) 235 65.46 14.25 2.74 Favorable (>16.98) 70 19.50 Total 359 100As mentioned, the attitude of Bhutanese Rural youths has been categorized into three asunfavorable, moderately favorable and favorable according to its mean attitude score with14.25 and standard deviation with 2.74. From the above table it’s clear that a majority of65.46% are having moderate favorable attitude while 19.5% and 15.04% rural youth arehaving favorable and unfavorable attitude respectively towards agriculture.Findings– It was found that rural youths (89.4%) prefer locally produced food grains and vegetables over the easily available imported products, basically because the local products are organic and nutritious. This gives a clear clue that local production would find an easy market in future.– So far as the farm work is concerned, it was found that farm mechanization has brought significant impact on the rural youth’s attitude towards farm work yet it was obvious that it has a long way to go still in order to fully realize its mission of alleviating drudgery in Bhutanese farms since around one-third of the youths feel farm work is backbreaking, laborious and manual intensive.– Towards income generation, it was found that about three-fourth of the youths (77%) perceives agriculture as a profitable venture mainly because there is a growing demand for locally produced agricultural products.– It was observed that 44% of rural youths don’t want to choose farming as their lifetime career mainly due to poor physical infrastructures and social amenities in the rural, limited 18
  19. 19. scope of income generation as compared to other jobs and low reputation of farmer in the society. This may also be a reason behind why half of rural youths desire to settle in the urban and 41.2% of them not ready to marry with a farmer.– Compared to male, apart from being more optimistic towards agriculture products, female youths are by and large more vulnerable to leave agriculture as well as the rural hometown. Rural female youths are more desirous of settling in the urban, and most of them don’t want to marry with a farmer. Controversially, majority of male youths desires to settle in the rural and are ready to marry with a farmer too.– It is alarming to note that the younger youths are more negative towards agriculture product as well as work. Younger the youths (i.e. out of the three sub-categorized groups), it was notable that they are more reluctant to remain back in rural, marry with a farmer or grow vegetables for themselves. This is a great cause of concern for Bhutan because it is likely that we will lose the strength of agriculture sector one day if proper measures are not in place at the very earliest.– Education seems to have certain impact on the youths’ dietary habit. Higher the education level, they are more concerned about their health and the quality of food. But it was found that the higher educated youths are less interested to go back into farms as educated farmers nor do they see agriculture as a profitable venture that can provide gainful returns. Therefore, it is probable that there would be lesser proportion of farmers from college, high school, and the rest lower school graduates respectively.– As current status of youth is concerned, more of employed youths compared to unemployed and students are concerned about their health. 60% of unemployed youth’s feel that they cannot earn hugely from agriculture owing to the massive import of agricultural products from the neighboring countries but on the other hand they are more positive minded towards farming career compared to the students.– 61.3% of youths are willing to take up farming as a last option if they do not get employed in any other sectors. Among those who are willing to take up agriculture as the last option, female youth are the one who are having the highest response with 70.7% while male youth have only 47.9% representation. There is an inverse relation between youth’s age and their willingness to take up agriculture as the last option.CONCLUSION The fate of agriculture depends upon how youths view agriculture. As Bhutan is largely anagrarian economy, it is only natural that agriculture sector has a great role to play. Throughthis study, it was found in general that rural Bhutanese youths have favorable attitudetowards agriculture which indeed is a mark of good future for the agriculture sector. 19
  20. 20. The study in brief showed that majority of youths like the local agricultural products (89%);they do not feel that farm work is not a very difficult job (55%); they think that they canearn profitably from agriculture (77%); yet it was found that a large proportion of them(44%) doesn’t want to work as a farmer in future. This all figures give a vague picture that itis not the quality of local production, nature of farm work and low scope of incomegeneration from agriculture that de-motivate youths from aspiring to be farmers. As it waspointed out, it may be due to poor physical and social facilities in rural, low reputation offarmer in the society, etc. which need a greater attention if agriculture sector wishes to retainthe rural youths back in agriculture.Agriculture sector, mainly its local production, is likely to attract huge demand in future if itsucceeds to maintain its “organic” brand. At the same time, this may make agriculture alucrative business. Continued mechanization efforts will make farming a not-so-difficulttask anymore yet, it is a fact that farming isn’t a fancy dream for the youths presently. And itis likely that rural-urban migration is still to continue further in future because around half(51%) of the rural youths wants to settle in the urban. The agriculture sector can expectgreater enthusiasm, demand and production for vegetables as compared to food grains infuture. Likewise, 92.7% of youths are willing to grow vegetables for themselves providedright conditions are met favorably. There is a danger that Bhutanese farmers in future willconcentrate largely on vegetable and not take up the production of other food grains as muchas paddy.RECOMMENDATIONS1. As the country’s goal is, we suggest MoA and authorities concerned, farmers and other stakeholders involved to focus more on organic farming. Bhutanese youths are cautious about quality above all factors.2. We suggest MoA in general and AMC in particular to continue with the mechanization efforts. Many youths agreed that farm mechanization has effectively made farming an easy job yet there are around one-third of rural youths who still feel farming is a difficult task.3. We suggest interested individuals or groups to take up agriculture business since there is a growing demand for local products. It is also suggested that import ban on food items can boost local business.4. To reduce youth unemployment and rural-urban migration, we suggest the ministries and other bodies concerned to prioritize rural development since the lack of physical and social amenities in rural is the major reason behind why youths don’t want to choose farming career. 20
  21. 21. 5. Since it was found that youth’s attitude towards agriculture is worsening (by age), we suggest that it’s high time that right interventions be made, especially through schools, to improve the youths’ attitude towards agriculture, to enhance self employment, self sufficiency and the self-esteem of being a farmer.6. We suggest the ministries and authorities concerned begin considering employing college graduates in the farming sector taking into account the increasing population of college graduates entering the job market every year and it was found that they are the highest proportion of respondents who neither see agriculture as a profitable venture nor do they want to be farmers.7. Since it was found that 92.7% of rural youths are willing to grow vegetables for themselves irrespective of their occupation, we suggest that, recommending houses with kitchen gardens [for instance like, by making some kind of obligations whereby new houses must have an attached kitchen garden, etc.] would be very useful, not only to the occupant but also to the nation as a whole in achieving the goals of food security, import reduction and enabling a greener environment, etc.Suggestions for further research– There is need for a deeper and sounder research to explore it on a wider scale on why female youth are more keen to leave agriculture as well as the rural hometown– A comprehensive research on what aspects of physical and social amenities that youths find lacking in the rural areas is recommended.REFERENCESAbdullahi, Y.M., Gidado, A.S., and Jibril, S.A. (2010). Attitude of Rural Youths towards Family Farming in Dass, Bauchi State, Nigeria and the Implications for Policy. Journal of Agricultural Extension, Vol. 14 (2), from www.ajol.info/index.php/jae/article/download/64120/51917Alston, J. A. & Crutchfield, M. C. (2009). A Descriptive Analysis of the Perceptions of North Carolina 4-H Agents Toward Minority Youth Participation in Agricultural- Related Activities. Journal of Extension, 45 (5), 1-10.Bahaman, S. A., Jeffrey, S. L., Hayrol Azril, S. M. & Jegak, U. (2010). Acceptance, Attitude and Knowledge towards Agriculture Economic Activity between Rural and Urban Youth: The Case of Contract Farming. Journal of Applied Sciences, 10(19), 2310- 2315.Bhutan Foundation. (n.d). retrieved on December 20, from http://www.bhutanfound.orgChua, M. (2008). The Pursuit of Happiness Issues facing Bhutanses Youths and The Challenges posed to Gross National Happiness. ISA’s Internship Progrmme 2008. 1- 35. 21
  22. 22. Department of Youth and Sports. (2012). National Youth Policy – 2011.Gross National Happiness Commission. (2010). Population Perspective Plan, Bhutan 2010: Goals and Strategies.Lenihen, M.H., Brasier, J. K. & Stedmen, C. R. (2009). Perception of Agriculture’s Multifunctional Role among Rural Pennsyvanians. Journal of Research in Rural Social Development, 14, 127-149.Loudon, L. D & Britta, D. (1992). Consumer Behavior: Concepts and Applications. www.ebay.com/ctg/Consumer...and...Della...Loudon...-/27583Mehta, S. (2012). Growth Crisis in the Bhutanese Agriculture sector: An exploratory Analysis of the Causes. Bhutan Journal of research & Development, 1(1), 51-60. Retrieved on 11/12/2012 from www.rub.edu.btMosaee, M. & Ommani, A. (2011). Assessment the Socio-economic Factors Affecting Rural Youth Attitude to Occupation in Agricultural (Case of Kohgiluyeh and Boyer- Ahmad Province, Iran).Ovwigho, B. O. & Ifie, P. A. (2009). Attitude of Youth to Agricultural Development Programmes In Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State, Nigeria. Journal of Agricultural Extension, 13 (2), 67-75.Rashid, M. & Gao, Q. (2012).Determinants of Rural Youth’s Attitude and Involvement in Bangladesh Politics. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 2 (23), 183-193.Sedighi, H. (2005). Perceptions of Rural Youths on Agricultural Profession: Implication for Extension Programming. Proceeding of the 22nd Annual Conference Association for International Agricultural and Extension Education.Stewart, M., & Sutphin, H. D. (1994). How tenth grade students perceive agriculture and environmental science: Comparison by gender and ethnicity. Journal of AgriculturalEducation, 35(3), 50-56.Tally, S. (1996). Perceptions of agriculture dont reflect new reality, expert says. Purdue News. Retrieved December 19, 2012 from: http://www.purdue.edu/UNS/htmlThompson, J. C., & Russell, E. B. (1993). Beliefs and intentions of counselors, parents, and students regarding agriculture as a career choice. Journal of AgriculturalEducation, 34(4), 55-63.Tobgay, S (2005). Small Farmers and Food Systems in Bhutan. A paper presented at the FAO Symposium on Agricultural Commercialization and the Small Farmer, Rome.UNDP. (2009). Overcoming barriers: human mobility and development. Human Development Report 2009.Verma, L. H., Lal, H. and Bhimawat, S. B. (2012). Attitude Measurement of Rural Youths towards Rural Development Activities in Jaipur District of Rajasthan. Indian Res. J. Ext. Edu., 12 (3), 79-83. 22

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