Renowned agriculture scientist Prof. M.S. Swaminathan has asked agriculture universities to persuade the educated youth, including farm graduates, to stay in villages and take to agriculture as a profession.
According to Prof Swaminathan a course should just not remain a course; rather students should develop entrepreneurial skill in tandem with it. He said the national policy for farmers placed in Parliament in November 2007 looks to introduce steps to help attract and retain youth in farming and make farming intellectually stimulating and economically rewarding.
“Over 45 per cent of farmers interviewed by the National Sample Survey Organisation wanted to quit farming. Farmers are getting indebted and the temptation to sell farmland for non-farm purposes is growing. The pressure of population on the land is increasing. And the average size of a farm holding is going down. Under these conditions, how are we going to persuade the educated youth towards farming remains a major challenge,” he said.
He added that an appropriate synergy between technology and public policy will be needed for launching a “youth in agricultural transformation movement”. Professor Swaminathan also wants BPOs in rural areas. He says that BPOs will not only fulfill the employment needs but will also be providing opportunities for intellectually satisfying work for educated rural women and men.