Youth Perception of Agriculture and potential for employment in the context of rural development in Bhutan

  • Tshering Pelzom College of Natural Resources, Royal University of Bhutan, Bhutan.
  • Om Katel College of Natural Resources, Royal University of Bhutan, Bhutan.

Abstract

Agriculture forms the backbone of economy of many countries particularly developing countries around the world and Bhutan is not an exception. In Bhutan, agriculture pro-vides employment and livelihoods to more than half of the total population. However, the contribution of agriculture to Gross Domestic Product has been decreasing over the years and there are several reasons affecting agricultural productivity. One of the reasons is cit-ed is the decreasing labour force in the agriculture sector. Bhutanese farming comprises of relatively less mechanized farming so youths are considered as the mainstay of agricul-ture farming but over the last decade or so, it is observed that more and more youths are migrating to urban areas and as a result decreasing the labour force in rural areas. It is not clear why youths are not interested in taking up agriculture related employment de-spite increasing rate of unemployment in Bhutan. The objective of this paper is to docu-ment the perception and knowledge of youth towards agriculture and to analyze the fac-tors affecting youth’s perception of agriculture related employment. The data were col-lected from the selected youth ranging from 13 to 24 years from east, west, central and southern part of the country. The respondents included school students, school drop outs, and unemployed youth and undergraduate students from selected colleges under the Roy-al University of Bhutan. Respondents also included teachers and farmers. The research reveals that young students in high school who hail from rural areas and with farmer par-ents perceive that agriculture can be a potential area for employment. However, the prin-cipal components analysis reveal that some of the factors affecting youth not taking up agriculture related employment are crop loss, lack of resource, parents pressure, relative-ly less access to technical and financial support. Youth suggests that with adequate tech-nical and financial support profitable and sustainable farming can be made attracting youth entrepreneurs. Retaining and encouraging youths to promote agriculture in rural areas can substantially enhance food security in Bhutan. Therefore, this paper aims to provide the ways on how youth can be attracted and engaged in agriculture sector and its implications to food security of Bhutan.
Published
Nov 22, 2018
How to Cite
PELZOM, Tshering; KATEL, Om. Youth Perception of Agriculture and potential for employment in the context of rural development in Bhutan. Development, Environment and Foresight, [S.l.], v. 3, n. 2, p. 92-106, nov. 2018. ISSN 2336-6621. Available at: <http://def-journal.eu/index.php/def/article/view/53>. Date accessed: 11 dec. 2018.