Participants were chosen on the basis of various parameters – their age and qualification, and their involvement and interest in agriculture. Ms Subhashini Sridhar, Project Director at CIKS, says: “Today, the average age of a farmer in India is 50. To prevent rural-urban migration in youth, and to prove that agriculture is a profitable business, we started the programme ‘Retaining village youth in agriculture’.” India’s National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) and the Dutch Rabobank are providing financial support.

In 2017, almost 38 training programmes were conducted for the youth on improving farm production, water saving techniques, certified organic and integrated farming approaches, production of bio fertilisers and bio pesticides, paddy weed management, traditional paddy seed production, and the use of new varieties. Further topics included entrepreneurship skills development, preparation of business plans and bankable proposals, animal husbandry, poultry, functioning of producer companies, high density of horticulture crops, honey bee rearing, farm mechanisation, value addition and packaging.