Nepal has gone through quite a lot of revolutions and movements. The political movement of 2007 BS along with people’s movements of 2046 BS and 2063 BS were some of the major movements in Nepali political history as the events ensured social, economical and political changes along with international associations.
But we never thought of the agricultural revolution despite the fact that the share of agriculture sector in GDP is as much as 28.9 percent while about two third of the population is engaged in this sector. Agriculture has had histories with humans since the very beginning of human civilization but a revolutionary action was always missing. Agricultural goods trade deficit has been increasing yearly. The import of agricultural goods has increased by 44.2 percent to Rs 628.56 billion during the first eight months of fiscal year 2016/2017 as compared to the previous fiscal year.
The Green Revolution in India has noteworthy role in agricultural development of India. It was the time when Indian scientist MS Swaminathan played a leadership role in scientific and technological reforms in agriculture sector and today India is one of the leaders in world food market. Agricultural sector has always been a prioritized sector in government planning and strategies. Establishment of small farmer development bank, promotion of cooperative sector, livestock credit program, subsidy on agricultural equipments and fertilizers, small framers capacity enhancement, irrigation, genetic improvement of seeds are some of the major transformations in government proceedings. But still, the commercialization of agricultural sector, management of agricultural inputs, infrastructure, land reforms and management is a major challenge in agricultural sector.
Commercialization and professional agricultural is still a huge thing to change about. Social structure has always been a barrier in agriculture entrepreneurship. We do not find any parents desiring to see their children doing agricultural businesses. Everyone speaks about doctor and engineers. Most of the Nepali youth don’t feel agriculture as a good career. Young people still view agriculture as a lifelong labor in farm. And each year, country is losing potential youths in the name of foreign employment and study visa.
Agro business is not only a lifelong labor in farm but also a process of understanding the market gap and being aware of market niches. Problems and opportunities always offer benefit in between. Demand for hygienic food, rising demand of meat products, increasing imports of agricultural products are few simple statistics to estimate the future of agriculture. Scenario is not like before; youths have started finding opportunities and career in agriculture. Tara Pandey, a 21 year guy from Palpa runs Turkey farm. He started his business by importing turkey from France initially. Rapti Modern Agriculture Farm, a livestock farm started by 14 youths is an example of youth’s involvement in agro entrepreneurship. Livestock farming, organic farming, fruits, herbs are some of the unscratched areas with great potential.
Agriculture can be a vitamin to boost up the national economy. Necessary reforms are required in Nepali agropreneurial eco system. Creating link between stakeholders in the agricultural system, facilitation market linkages, enhancement of farmer’s life standard, access to finance and insurance, post-harvest handling and climate smart research are some of the issues to be addressed. Creating a real pathway to profitable livelihood can change youth mindset about agriculture.
Understanding the need for agro-based businesses and importance of agriculture, the Uniglobe Center for Entrepreneurship is going to host the first national level Business Plan Competition, 2018. A small attempt to encourage youths toward entrepreneurship, the competition is a platform where business students can showcase their ideas to the who’s who of the field. The competition will be a blending point of ideas, mentors and investors.
Roshan is an MBA graduate from Uniglobe College, Kathmandu.