Keeping in mind the present situation of country and fulfilling the dream of our honourable Prime Minister, A two day conference is organized by the Trust for Advancement of Agricultural Sciences (TAAS), Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), MS Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF), Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (APAARI), Skill India, Agriculture Skill Council of India (ASCI), Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD), National Bank For Agriculture And Rural Development (NABARD).
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India presently has the largest population of youth (356 million between 10-24 years) in the world (UN Report, 2014), even larger than China (269 million). This obviously reflects a bright future provided greater percentage of those living in rural areas (around 200 million), are motivated and attracted professionally to agriculture and allied fields. On the contrary, at present hardly 5 per cent of the rural youth is getting engaged in agriculture.
The second day was again filled with all energy and enthusiasm with lots of involvement of youths all over the country.
Session started with Scaling Innovation and Successful Business Models with presentations on Success in Dairy Farming Fishery production Honey bee keeping Biofertilizers and many more.
Lots of discussion took place between the dignitaries and young crowd as well as people from all agriculture fraternity. Protected cultivation and Musdhroom cultivation as well as presentation of progressive farmers has made the sessions more interesting compared to the previous ones.
Panel discussion Enabling policies on MAYA was attended by Dr. B.S.Dhillon , Dr. U.S.Sharma,Dr. Harsh Kumar Bhanwal and many others.
At the end Dr. Yashwant Saharawat presented MAYA road map which focused to develop holistic approach on motivating and attracting youth in agriculture around (i) economic prospects, (ii) social respect and (iii) opportunity for application of their knowledge and competence acquired through formal and informal education and training. Absence of any of these will distract them to work in agriculture a challenge that we must adhere on priority.
The Conference would provide an opportunity to all stakeholders to interact and discuss various options and avenues for not only attracting youth to agriculture but even motivating them towards entrepreneurship in agriculture and allied fields.
More than 200 participants including farmers from various states, senior research, development and policy related officials/managers from national and regional organizations, NGOs, the private sector, education and training institutions, and other members of civil society participated to discuss ways to motivate and attract youth in agriculture (MAYA). The regional conference has attracted participants from Afghanistan, Bhutan, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka.