Saturday, 29 January, 2022

Unemployed Youth Should Take the Helm of Agribusiness

Dr. M. Jamal Uddin

Many cherish the desire to be an entrepreneur. There is a lot of interest in entrepreneurship in agriculture these days. An entrepreneur is someone who thinks of a new business that no one has done before or who can create an interest or demand for people by bringing an old business in a new form. Entrepreneur of agriculture means doing business with agricultural products. At one time agriculture was a disrespectful profession. At that time agriculture was considered as a declining profession. People wanted to stay away from this work for fear of shame if they were a little educated. But that era is no more. Now graduates are leaning towards agribusiness.

At that time a boy from the village passed BA which means a lot. His appreciation was the same. Agriculture is now peeking at them as a respectable profession! All you need to do is use your creative energy to establish yourself as an entrepreneur in agribusiness. Those who can are succeeding. Such a success story cannot be finished. With the unimaginable success of agriculture, educated young people are embracing the agribusiness day by day. This is now easier to do with the spread of technology. Many young people have stood on their own two feet by importing and exporting agricultural products.

These days, well-educated and smart guys are rushing to the office to get advice on how to start an agribusiness. They don't come alone but come with a few friends. Everyone wants to devote himself to this great profession. In line with the words of the Hon'ble Prime Minister, they also want to say that we will not look for jobs, we will give jobs. In fact, it is giving. There are many enterprising educated youth scattered around. They need to be motivated, encouraged and supported by the government, provided with incentives. If they get a chance, they can really fill Bangabandhu's golden Bengal with gold. The present agri-friendly government is putting a lot of emphasis on creating an entrepreneurial community.

There is a special focus on women entrepreneurs! However, if you want to be an entrepreneur in a new way in agriculture, there are several things to follow. You need to have the will and the desire, you have to be brave, you have to have a risk-taking mentality, you have to have the moral qualities to accept and repay a loan, even if you are not financially well-off. You need more than luck to succeed in affiliate business. If it is not possible alone, he can go to work with like-minded friends.

Increase communication with agricultural research and service providers and take necessary directions in this regard. Nowadays, the stories of many successful entrepreneurs are being seen on YouTube and online channels. Ideas can also be taken from there. By analyzing all the sources available to know, one can get down to this task through proper planning. There must be risk in this work. We need to find ways to deal with the risks. Millions of educated unemployed are currently flocking to the country for jobs. Time is wasted year after year. They are suffering from depression when the age limit for entering the job is over. Those who get jobs are lucky. That is why it is better to take the opportunity to become an entrepreneur without immersing oneself in despair.

The government's support in this regard is also quite extended. All you need is research, honest will and concentration. At present, on-line business in agriculture is also quite booming. Who will be the entrepreneur in what kind of work depends on his choice. The country's current agriculture is moving towards value added agriculture in line with global agriculture. On-line business can be started with processed products. The country's agricultural research and service providers need to pay more attention to processing.

Recently, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute has developed about 10-12 types of processed products from jackfruit alone. There are many technologies of agricultural mechanization. In the pandemic situation, on-line business can be started by adopting these technologies on a small scale. In Bandarban, two highly educated young men named Tareq and Toha left their jobs at the British-American Tobacco Company to set up a small-scale cashew nut processing factory. Many families are working in their factories. They used to work alone but now they are giving jobs to others. Officially, financial assistance is also being received from the Department of Agriculture. May be one day they will export cashew nut abroad and stand tall in the society.

Under the support of entrepreneurship and value chain development project funded by KGF during 2013 -2020 many young unemployed educated youth engaged in agri-business as an entrepreneur in Khagrachhari, Rangamati and Bandarban. They are: Dipul Chakma, Manchangiu Marma, Babu Marma, Sumon, Manki Miah, Dabakar Chakma, Sujan Chakma and Mihir Chakma. Jesie Chakma grew up as a woman entrepreneur in agribusiness in Bandarban. They will raise their heads and become examples of successful entrepreneurs in the future.

Similarly, I have seen in the state of Kerala in India, Agri Business Incubator (ABI) of Centre of Excellence in Post-Harvest Technology under Kerala Agricultural University provides facilities for enterprise support services component and other agribusiness information resources on value added products from pineapple. They developed about 15 kinds of value-added products from a single pineapple. For example, Fresh cut pineapple, dried pineapple, pineapple chunks, pineapple soft candy, osmo-dehydrated pineapple products, chips, juice, nectar, pulp, jelly, marmalades, fillings, jam, preserve pineapple slices and toffee. Based on these products many rural entrepreneurs have been developed in agribusiness.

In Vietnam, I saw an unemployed educated young man from the village of remote areas, who made buttons from the seeds of one of the fruits, and became the big entrepreneur of making overnight buttons under the auspices of the government. In order to be an entrepreneur, government patronage is also important along with one's own will. There are many inventions and discoveries of agriculture in the country. It is expected that the unemployed educated generation will be able to save themselves, save others and lead the country forward as successful entrepreneurs by utilizing their talents and innovations in agribusiness.


The writer is a Senior Scientist of Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI)