Pathways to Agricultural Skill Development in the Indian Himalayas
221 Bouverie Street, Theatre 2
221 Bouverie Street
T: 8344 9395
Faced with a ‘generation problem’ in agriculture, several countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America are currently introducing formal vocational education and training initiatives to develop agricultural skills and foster greater interest in farming among youth. In India, 4-6 week skill development courses have been introduced in more than 170 job roles in the agricultural sector over the last few years. These courses aim to increase farmers’ outputs and income, support rural livelihoods, foster agricultural sustainability, and train a new generation of agricultural entrepreneurs. Yet, given that (a) most young people in rural India aspire to work outside of the agricultural sector; and (b) practising farmers often feel that they already possess ‘practical’ agricultural skills, it is often unclear who will enrol in these programs and for what purpose.
Drawing on interviews with 52 trainees who have enrolled in these skill development programmes in the Himalayan state of Himachal Pradesh, this seminar will explore the factors that are motivating people to enrol in these short courses to develop their agricultural skills. I will explore the ways in which these motivations are strongly inflected by the gender, caste, and education levels of trainees.
Dr Trent Brown, ARC DECRA Fellow
Dr Trent Brown
ARC DECRA Fellow
University of Melbourne
Dr Trent Brown is an ARC DECRA Fellow in the School of Geography at the University of Melbourne. He is the author of Farmers, Subalterns, and Activists: Social Politics of Sustainable Agriculture in India (Cambridge University Press, 2018). He has written on a variety of topics related to contemporary India, including sustainable rural development, social movements, youth, and migration. His current research explores India’s attempts to introduce formal skill development initiatives for the rural sector.