Youth Agro-entrepreneurship in Nepal | Asia Pacific Greens

Youth Agro-entrepreneurship in Nepal

B K Dalit, Chief Founder/President of Nepali Greens spoke at an UN event on youth and land issues. The event was held in the building of
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Netherlands, Hegue from 6th November to 15th November. He was invited to attend the event and speak on youth, agriculture and land issues of Nepal organized jointly by the United Nations Human Settlement Program, Global Land Tool Network and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

He said that 38.8 percent of total population is youth in Nepal. Youth unemployment is the biggest problem in Nepal. Of the total population, nearly 49.9 percent urban youth and 32.2 percent rural youth are unemployed. Every year, around 500,000 Nepalese unemployed youth enter the job market. The government makes a goal only to employ 50,000 youth through private sectors. However, the government does not achieve the goal.

Due to the lack of employment, more than 1,900 youth leave the country on a daily basis especially to gulf countries. In the last ten years, 2.5 million youth have migrated overseas. The Nepali economy is fundamentally land based or agrarian: agriculture contributes to approximately one third of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), while also being the largest source of informal employment.  He stressed the need to make the policy and programs to attract and engage young people on agro-entrepreneurship.

He also spoke about the problems and challenges faced by young agro-entrepreneurs in Nepal. The youth have to take the land on lease from private landowners at 115 Euros per year per ropani/508.82 square meters of land (Ropani: customary unit of measurement of land in Nepal.  In Nepal, there is no legal system of land lease agreement so the youth have to do the farming at the will and mood of the private landowners. The youth do not get the certificate of land lease agreement. As a result, the youth will be deprived from governmental services. The youth can not legally register their enterprise. This makes the youth ineligible to get loan from Banks and grants from governmental and nongovernmental agencies.

The youth do not have land tenure security. The private landowners can take away the youth engaged land any time from the youth when the private land owners get more benefits from others. This has led the youth to give up agro-business, remain unemployed and finally migrate abroad.

He said that Nepal has 1, 47,181, 00 hectares of land.  7 percent of total land or 1,030,390 hectares ( 1 million 30 thousands 3 hundred Ninety) of public land is highly productive land but still remaining barren. 0.6 million hectare of fertile and productive land has been kept barren.  The youth want the public land on lease for agro-entrepreneurship but they are not having access. The youth want land tenure security and security of the livelihoods through access of land

He asked the international communities especially the United Nations, Global Land Tool Network formed under the facilitation of UN Habitat, to work and lobby together to the Nepal government to develop youth friendly land tools, policies and programs.

BK Dalit has been strongly advocating with the government to provide highly productive but barren public land to the young people for agro-entrepreneurship.

Nepali Greens