Visit: The government will provide training and other kinds of support to those who have dropped out of school and remain in the villages, and are interested in farming, it was announced by Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay during his meetings with the people of Decheling, Choekhorling and Norbugang gewogs in Pemagatshel on January 11.

Lyonchoen was responding to Jambay Yeshi, a school drop in Decheling gewog, who pointed out that while interested in farming, he was not able to do so because of a lack of knowledge and experience. He said that the same problem had hindered other youth who had completed their secondary education and returned to farm.

In Norbugang gewog, Phuntsho Dorji, a graduate said that he didn’t get past the Royal Civil Service Commission preliminary exams and so returned to the village to farm.

He said that after completion of formal education, youth prefer to settle in the towns. He added that this is causing empty households (gungtong) and land to be left fallow.

Phuntsho Dorji asked what the government is doing to encourage youth to take up farming in the villages in terms of access to finance and training.

Lyonchoen Tshering Tobgay said it is encouraging that the youth are returning to the villages to farm. “If the youths form a group to take up farming activities, the government is there to support financially and provide training,” he said. Lyonchoen added that the government will provide such support from this year.

While it is the duty of the government to provide such support, it is the duty of the youth to make good use of the support, Lyonchoen said.

Works and human settlement minister Dorji Choden, who accompanied the Prime Minister, said that it is not true that youth are leaving for the towns because there is no facilities in the villages. Lyonpo said that facilities and services available in the towns, such as roads, electricity, telecommunications, banking, among others are also available in the rural areas. She pointed out that the Rural Business Development Corporation and the Food Corporation of Bhutan provide services in the rural areas.

Lyonpo said that the youth must use these facilities and services.

Tashi Phuntsho |  Decheling