Monday, March 21, 2011

‘Food Security depends upon’ Rural Youth involvement in value added Agriculture’


Trichy; March, 21:   ‘Food Security depends upon’ Rural Youth involvement in value added Agriculture’ noted writer Jawahar Arumugam claims. Speaking to pressmen, the writer said that the rural youth migration to cities is a major concern for Agriculture sector in Tamilnadu, India.India can get away from poverty and hunger if they continue food production and systematic cost effective agriculture in Indian villages with the involvement of youth population as India is an agrarian country with more than 70% living in rural areas. The current mind set of youth in LGP (Liberalization, Globalization and privatization)contest tempt the rural youth to migrate to the cities in search of jobs, letting the elders to continue the agriculture operations. He expressed his concern if the same trend continues; India is to face a worse hunger crisis which will ruin Indian Economy.  India to take immediate steps to promote value added agriculture production and also has a direct marketing linkages, this process will attract youth to stay in villages and get involved in Food production. Youth migration to the cities is no way helpful to the Indian economy and food production in india, Jawahar Observed.
Writer Jawahar Arumugam further said ‘Crop diversification in Agriculture in India is taking place vertically or horizontally, mostly due to market forces and occasionally due to domestic needs. Where there are concerns regarding land and water use and quality, there is immediate need to consider: Processing of farm produce into value added products offers scope for employment in non-farm works such as distillation of active ingredients from medicinal and aromatic plants (herbal products), scope of industrialization in agriculture for sugar, paper board manufacturing, etc. to increase employment in rural areas, as there is a need to generate place-based approaches for diverse farming situations under various socio-economic conditions, domestic needs, Market infrastructure, input supply etc.The research on crop diversification is best done in a farmer-participatory mode in which a multi-disciplinary team of scientists involves farmers from project planning through arriving at conclusions; The writher insisted’ A concept of sustainable productivity for each unit of land and water through crop diversification needs to be fostered, There is need for promoting co-operatives in rural areas to solve micro-level and location-specific problems., Major thrust should be given on vegetables, fruits, flowers, spices, etc. and animal husbandry dairying, poultry, goatery, etc. to support a vigorous and expanding export market, balanced with supplying local markets with affordable, healthy food. Strengthening food processing and other value-added industries in rural areas is a means to provide employment to rural youth. There is need to develop rural infrastructure such as roads, markets, medical and educational facilities in the villages with efficient utilization of local resources for farming community in a more pragmatic way. Crop diversification provides efficient use of farm inputs and contributes to a strong rural economy. Alternate cropping systems and farm enterprise diversification are most important for generating higher income, employment and protecting the environment. There are numerous opportunities to adopt subsidiary occupations to the rice-wheat cropping systems common in India. Enterprise diversification generates more income and rural employment year round. Diversification in agriculture' has tremendous impact on the agro-socio-economic impact and uplifting of resource-poor farming communities. It generates income and employment for rural youth year round for the ultimate benefits of the farmers in the country. It implies the use of local resources in a larger mix of diverse cropping systems and livestock, and other non-farm sectors in the rural areas. With the globalization of markets in the WTO era, diversification in Agriculture is one means to increase the total production and productivity in terms of quality, quantity and monetary gains under diverse agro-climatic situations of the country.
The writer concludes by stating that Youth inclusive involvement in agriculture intends to inculcate vocational and entrepreneurial skills to widen employment opportunities, particularly among rural youth and the disadvantaged sections of the society as well as self employment. It seeks to address the workforce requirements of the food processing industries and focuses on upgrading the knowledge and skills of existing workers and Provide the knowledge & skills for minimizing the post-harvest losses and production of value added food products, Develop human resource for post harvest management and for primary processing of fruits and vegetables produce at the production areas/ clusters, Develop youth as young entrepreneurs for self employment through food processing and associated activities, Impart knowledge and technical proficiency in: Procurement of raw materials, Preparation of value added products, Prevention of losses in fresh and processed horticulture produce, Marketing and economical aspects, Managing small and medium enterprises.’-Etram News Service:

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