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Working with Youth and Agriculture in Nepal: Peace Corps Volunteers

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Discussing about Peace Corps Approach to working with Youth in Nepal, my experiences of working with youth and agriculture in rural areas of Nepal and useful tips to the peace corps volunteer on ways to working with youth in Nepal.
-Madan Poudel
cashsee.maddy(@)gmail(dot)com
http://madanpoudel.com.np/

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Working with Youth and Agriculture in Nepal: Peace Corps Volunteers

  1. 1. As a rural boy
  2. 2. Grown up in mandarin Farm
  3. 3. Changing Scenario • No Farmers son wants to be a Farmer anymore ! • Agriculture is not sexy enough to attract young generation • Rapid rural exodus • Changing landscape of farming • Back breaking, labor consuming and hardly remunerative
  4. 4. Perusing Career in Agriculture
  5. 5. Lok Marga Integrated Agri-Farm • Establish Permaculture/Organic Farm • Integrate tourism, internship, research and learning center • Reviving village economy through mentorship, networking and entrepreneurship development among youth • Back to nature through the culture
  6. 6. http://yubakrishi.com/
  7. 7. YubaKrishi-Dynamic Platform • Mentorship, networking, Entrepreneurship development • “Youth Agriculture Entrepreneurship Conference”-2016 • Monthly newsletter • Video Production/Farm Interviews/Success Stories • Training, workshops, visits
  8. 8. AgriYouthNepal- Promoting Youth & ICTs in Agriculture International Year of Family Farming 2014- Photo Contest Workshop- Agriculture Education: Providing Opportunities, Preventing Brain Drain Friday Sharing Platform- Spreading the ideas Informator Wall magazine Blog Contest – Youth and ICTs in Agriculture http://agriyouthnepal.com
  9. 9. Nepalese Youth today ! • 24% of population are between age of 16-29 years • Creative, hardworking, and innovative • Opportunity seekers – [everyday 1500 youth go abroad] • Connected with modern technologies and ICTs • 1999- Mobile penetration was 1%, 2015= 99.12% • They want change ! – a way out • Nepal’s youth unemployment rate is 19.2% compared to national unemployment rate of 2.7% (Nepali Times)
  10. 10. Youth and Agriculture: Key issues • Negative mindset about agriculture • Un-employment, under-employment, working poverty • Challenges in agriculture education • Unfavorable conditions in rural areas and rural exodus • Limited youth voice in policy making • Limited access to assets • Ageing farming population
  11. 11. Opportunities • Growing interest in agriculture and fostering youth engagement • Increased use of ICTs in agriculture • Government youth focus program • Youth self employment program • Access to capital- loan at 6% interest rate • Access to information
  12. 12. • Both farming and rural youth in Nepal are at cross-roads which needs transformation through enhancement in innovation, capacity development, partnership and participatory approach for enhanced skills and attitude. • I am optimistic for one reason because youth like us are catalyst of change; we deserve a better future where we have better position to bring limelight in the agricultural interventions. Behind responsibilities youth sees opportunities and innovations to meet the growing demands as job creator rather than job seekers.
  13. 13. Status of agricultural enterprises in Nepal • Cooperative as emerging source of economy. • 38000 cooperatives in Nepal - agriculture based. • The cooperatives act as an investment source for low income livelihood serving as the continuous source of income bolstering their livelihood status. • The private enterprises are still in infant phase in Nepal. • Very few agriculture graduates are farmers/entrepreneurs
  14. 14. Working in the rural areas • 78% of the Nepalese population resides on rural area • 65% of population depend on agriculture for livelihood • Still 35 districts are food insecure • Traditional farming system still under practice
  15. 15. Credo of community development Go to the people Live with them Learn from them Plan with them Work with them Start with what they know Build on what they have Teach by showing Learning by doing Not a showcase But a pattern No odds and ends But a system Not to conform But to transform Not relief but release
  16. 16. Getting Started • Find a local Leader: innovative farmer, teacher, social worker • Facilitate a group discussion: Identify the status, problems and solutions in participatory way • Identify the common issues and create strategies to address • Help them to create opportunities through better networking, mentorship and entrepreneurship development.
  17. 17. Supporting Network • Identify supportive network: DADO, ASCs, VDC office, RARCs, Co-Operatives, Farmers Group, Youth Organizations • Access to information: Web and Mobile applications • YubaKrishi • Krishi Ghar • Smart Krishi • IFA-Krishi • Krishak ra Prabidhi • AICC
  18. 18. Working with Youth • Identify their interest/passion, skills, experiences • Adapt with their culture • Problem analysis • Identify their short term and long term goals • Create opportunities for them by networking, visits, mentorship • Strengthen their source of economy • Career counseling
  19. 19. Cont.. • Build a network/youth organization • Frequent meetings and programs • Inspire and equip young people in local communities to learn and succeed through interactions and activities • Stimulate entrepreneurial thinking- Help them to establish business and social enterprises • Enhance leadership skills and increase community awareness • Promote volunteerism and group work
  20. 20. Success stories: Mentorship changing life • Sana Kisan Bank sends Nepalese youth to Israel to learn their technologies • Till now 1,125 got trained and working in Nepal Year | Youth Trained 2013=204 2014= 511 2015= 430 2016= 430
  21. 21. ICTs: Attracting youth in agriculture • Youth falls in innovators category in ICTs adoption • From back breaking to profitable and honest source of income • Youngsters who used to see farming as last resort source of income now see farming as strong source of income
  22. 22. Youth Preferred Trainings • Basic business concepts (profit, loss, business identification, management, record keeping etc) • Marketing, value addition • Interpersonal and communication skills
  23. 23. Starting from Home Garden • Home garden is a traditional component of the rural ecosystem • Products which range from annual to perennial are primarily intended for family consumption. • The seasonal and diversified products give year round income, provides a safety net for households when food is scare. • Home garden also play important role in in-situ conservation of wide genetic resources for food and agriculture.
  24. 24. Improving Home Gardens • Small Intervention: Improved Manures, Herb Gardens, Multi cropping, water harvesting • Food and nutritional security • Growing nutrient dense foods • Integrate elements which have synergistic effect • Seed selection and saving • Processing, Food Preservations • Marketing of surplus products
  25. 25. Mentoring • Seasonal and off-seasonal vegetable cultivations • High value Agriculture Products: Mushroom, Bee Keeping, Fruits • Preparing good compost • Farm management • Increasing the market value
  26. 26. Demonstration of Technology • Result Demonstration • Seeing is believing • Method Demonstration • Learning by doing
  27. 27. Thanks ~ Questions???

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