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Attracting youth to sustainable farming

Staff Reporter
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Are youth in the State disenchanted with agriculture? Is low returns, fast urbanisation and lack of government support turning the youth away from farming?

No, feels an agriculture training programme organised here jointly by the Rajeev Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development, Chennai, and M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation on high-tech precision farming that concluded here on Sunday.

Many youth in the State are still interested in the agriculture sector, if the policy makers would guide them on the proper methods and equip them with modern technology.

The programme was organised in connection with an ongoing project of the organisation called ‘Yuva Jyothi'. The project is aimed at attracting the younger generation to agriculture by providing a first-hand experience on modern farming techniques and ensuring a handsome income to the existing youth farmers in the sector through sustainable farming methods, P. Ramakrishnan, coordinator of the project told The Hindu .

As many as 50 youth from different parts of the State participated in the two-day camp.

The youth included professionals working in various sectors from the IT hub, Bangalore. The participants visited the Avani Farm, a high-tech precision farm functioning at Arattuthara near Mananthavady run by an engineering graduate Digol Thomas as a part of the programme and learned the basics of Polyhouse farming, a tunnel-like structure made of polyethylene used in precision farming.

Raneeta Raveendran, a freelance journalist from Bangalore, said, “The programme helped me a lot to get a firsthand knowledge on every aspects on running such a farm successfully.” “I am planning to set a poly house as a part of entering into high-tech precision farming,” said S. Sangeetha, a teacher from Malappuram.

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