Green Skill and Entrepreneurship Development

Odisha is primarily an agrarian economy where 60% of the population still depend on agriculture and allied activities for livelihoods. As per Census 2011, about 84% of the total households of Odisha live in rural areas (80.90 lakh households of the 96.38 lakh households).   Census 2011 data also informs that 62% of total workers are engaged in agriculture. During the decade (2001-2011), the number of agricultural labourers has increased (from 26.5% to 30%) and the number of cultivators has decreased (from 31.7% to 24.6%). Also, the 2011 Census data informs about a marginal decline on total female workers are engaged in agri-allied works from 74% (54% agri-labourers and 20% cultivators) in 2001 to 71% in 2011(58% agri-labourers and 13% cultivators)).

However as per the recent Govt. of Odisha’s Economic Survey Report 2017-18, the share of agriculture and allied sector has declined to about 20 per cent from an overbearing 60 per cent in the 1960s, but the share of population dependent on the sector continues to be significant at around 50 per cent. At the same time, the per capita availability of land, water and other resources in the state are gradually declining due to varied factors. The per capita availability of cultivated land is 0.15 hectare, and the average size of operational holdings is 1.04 hectare (2011-12 statistics report) which is too small in size to pursue profitable agri-allied activities. Still the sector continues to be the largest employment provider of the state and mainstay of the rural economy.

These factors propel to think and ideate on reimagining and repositioning the agri-allied sector through skill enhancement, enterprise development and livelihoods promotion within primary-green sector. The primary-green skills are the key driver having potential for generating employment in Agriculture, Forestry, Fishery, Energy, Services and Construction thus providing avenues towards strengthening agri-allied occupation and protecting the environment.

Taking a cue from the recently held Odisha Skill Conclave-2018, organised by the Skill and Entrepreneurship Ministry, Government of India, that deliberated and mandated to recognise all traditional skills as a part of the formally recognized skill development programmes, Green Skill and Entrepreneurship theme derives its genesis for further deliberation.

In this context, Odisha Vikas Conclave in its second edition is focusing on Green skills and entrepreneurship development opportunities for rural Odisha within the primary-green sector. It is expected that, the outcome of the deliberations will contribute and supplement the Skill India Mission and help build the state Government’s mission of doubling farmers’ income and SDGs.

Discussion Points:

  • What are the challenges and opportunities for skill and entrepreneurship development in primary-green sector in rural Odisha?
  • What are the emerging good practices within the State and learning from outside?
  • Which best practices we customise and adapt to ensure localized and integrated jobs?
  • How can more localised-jobs be created for the state’s tribal workforce?
  • What can be done to make specific skills and competencies more employment relevant?
  • What are the opportunities,within the ambit of existing schemes and policies for skill and entrepreneurship development in rural Odisha?
  • How can work related migration be made a choice-driven phenomena instead of the compulsion-driven one it is?
  • How can green skills be used to provide employment to workers-with-disabilities?