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Skill course for agriculture workers launched


BHUBANESWAR: A Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) programme in agriculture and allied sectors was launched at the Odisha University of Agriculture & Technology (OUAT) by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. It aims at developing skills of workers in the agriculture sector under the Skilled-in-Odisha mission.

While OUAT has already started implementing the training programme, the Chief Minister officially launched it on Saturday. The project is being implemented on a pilot basis involving 2,000 farmers and agriculture workers in and around Bhubaneswar.

The Chief Minister said there are several skilled workers employed in agriculture sector but they lack formal training and certification. “Identification of such workers, imparting skill training to them through training, assessment of their knowledge level and certification through National Skills Qualification Framework will add to their ability and will go a long way in empowering them,” said Naveen.

The RPL programme undertaken at the OUAT, will run for agriculture workers under six domains – nursery workers, gardeners, dairy farmers, mushroom growers, quality seed producers and fertiliser and pesticide applicators. In the first batch, RPL training was provided to 53 nursery workers and mushroom growers of Khurda district for two days from April 8. The assessment of the trainees was conducted by Agriculture Skill Council of India and 48 of the participants qualified the training programme.

The successful trainees were provided certificates issued by the National Skill Development Council. More agriculture workers will be trained in the subsequent phases.

The Chief Minister said small and marginal farmers constitute more than 90 percent of the farming community and a majority of the State’s workforce is engaged in agriculture and allied sectors. He further said agricultural practices involve a lot of skills and the State Government has been working for skill development of rural youths for enhancing their employability.

The project is being implemented jointly by Odisha Skill Development Authority (OSDA) and OUAT. The agriculture university has been assigned with conceptualising and operating RPL programme in agriculture and allied sectors in the State and the programme is being taken up with financial support from the Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment and OSDA.

The Chief Minister felicitated mushroom worker Namita Dash and nursery worker Ganeswar Swain by presenting them toolkits on the occasion. Among others, Chairman of OSDA Subroto Bagchi was present.

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