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Marking International Youth Day 2015 :AgriYouth Nepal and YPARD Nepal

Madan Poudel speaking during the Youth forum in Nepal on ‘Agriculture Education: Providing Opportunities, Preventing Brain drain

Agriyouthnepal, in collaboration with Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD) Nepal and International Association of Agriculture and related Science (IAAS) Nepal successfully conducted one day forum on ‘Agriculture Education: Providing Opportunities, Preventing Brain drain’.

The forum which was conducted on the premises of the Agriculture and Forestry University Chitwan, was attended by the incumbent dean of Agriculture and Forestry University, Prof. Dr. Dilliram Baral, along with various young agriculture professionals and entrepreneurs.Chief Guest of the event was Prof. Dr. Dilliram Baral, who in his address, highlighted the contribution of the University in fostering high skilled technicians, while lamenting the indifference these graduates have shown towards their own country and wasted their skills abroad. He also highlighted abit more on the university focus on development of entrepreneurial skills.

After formal opening session, the program was partitioned into two sessions, first of which was a panel discussion and the other was the brainstorming session. During the first session, the three panelists, who are Agricultural experts - Dr. Krishna Kafle renowned for his remarkable contribution to academic excellence at the agriculture university; Mr. Santosh Marahatta ,Assistant Professor from the Department of Agronomy and a local entrepreneur ; and  Mr Binod Sapkota, a recepient of the National Youth Talent award for his remarkable contribution as a young entrepreneur of the country - addressed some critical issues on the agricultural system in the country, which was well received by the highly motivated participants. Generalized solutions about the worsening problem of brain drain, poor education system, overall scenario of present agriculture of Nepal, were highlighted by the panelists.The second session featured a group discussion where,participants were divided into five groups with each group given a specific topic to brainstorm as regards the problems and the measures to address them. Some of the issues under discussion included brain drain, lack of enthusiasm among youth to pursue agriculture as a career, debilitating standard of education among others. Zealous participants from agriculture and related sciences fervently brainstormed ideas to tackle the existing problems in agricultural sector of the country.

The concluding remarks were delivered by Mr. Madan Poudel - President of AYN and a representative of YPARD Nepal- who stressed on the increasing attraction of youths towards pursuing agriculture as a profession. Recently, Agriculture University has enrolled more than 1000 students in agriculture, veterinary science, forestry and fisheries sector. With increasing attraction of youths towards agriculture, university education system is not being qualitative and Universities has been lacking very basic infrastructure like buildings, laboratory, technology and communication. University education system has failed to motivate young professionals to develop real life learning experiences and entrepreneurial skills. About 80% of agriculture graduates would like to pursue their higher level study abroad and very few would like to return back. Government of Nepal is investing more on agricultural education more than medical field but due to increasing brain drain the return on investment is very less. Youth has limited voice in policy level decision and due to inappropriate and unclear division of funds on different agricultural sectors, youths find it difficult to risk their investment. University should immediately focus on developing essential infrastructures, youth friendly learning environment and revised/updated course curricula focusing on developing research and entrepreneurial skills.
            

Blogpost by Mr Santosh Koirala a  Member AgriYouthNepal and YPARD and a student  at Agriculture and Forestry University, Chitwan, Nepal  pursuing my bachelor’s degree in agriculture.

You can reach him on mezereonsantosh@gmail.com