Tibu Majhi is a dynamic and courageous young man of 25 years, who belongs to Y KBD village of Chandragiri Gram Panchayat, Kashipur Block,Rayagada District. He is now emerging as a progressive electronics mechanic earning Rs 4000 per month. This particular dexterity has augmented his income and fame in the concerned vicinity. Tibu Majhi had received training for solar lantern repairing at Agragamee's CETAR, Mallijharan.
Mani Muduli is a widow of 45 years and belongs to Peringini village of Kodipari Gram Panchayat, Kashipur Block Rayagada district. She has 10 acres of land where she cultivates all kinds of seasonal vegetation. Tapioca tuber is one of them. The tapioca production from her field is nearly 175 kgs per annum. She now sells tapioca chips and papad after getting trained in the VET prgram, which brings her an additional Rs 3500 per month as income.
These are two of the success stories from Agragamee's Vocational Education and Training (VET) Programme. The tribal population of Odisha constitutes about 23% of the total population of Odisha that depends on subsistence farming. But hardly a few have taken to modern and improved practice and majority still adopt primitive methods. Diversification of sustainable agriculture and allied sectors has untapped potential for employment, growth, increased income and checking migration. There is lack of proper training and transfer of technology to the grassroots level.
As a result, Agragamee centred its focus at addressing these gaps in social capital building and establishing replicable models, by organizing VET for unorganized rural sector. The focus is about creating young para-professionals and ecopreneurs skilled in natural resource based livelihoods and creation of multi-stakeholder linkages so that agriculture, the primary profession, becomes economically remunerative, technologically appropriate and ecologically sustainable. Skill development and backward and forward linkages on natural resource based livelihood options for the youth will help in strengthening the local economy as well as creating alternative options for the rural youth who would otherwise spend their life as unskilled labour.
The goal of the project is to reduce unemployment and contribute to inclusive growth in rural areas by having a target group of youth from primitive tribes, belonging to different communities such as Kondh, Paraja, Saura and Gadba.
The programme also has specific objectives to increase access to skills and training for tribal, Dalit and OBC adolescents and youths in selected districts. Also to establish institutional arrangements for planning, quality assurance, certification and linkages.
Agragamee conducts trainings on the following trades for rural youth :
- Dal processing
- Nursery raising and management
- Solar lantern repairing
- Turmeric processing
- Tapioca tuber processing
- Integrated sustainable agriculture
Youth, both male and female, from the four districts of Koraput, Rayagada, Nabarangpur and Kalahandi attend the trainings at the Centre for Excellence of Tribal Agriculture and Research (CETAR), Mallijharan, Rayagada District