Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 15:
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today launched Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) programme in agriculture and allied sectors at Odisha University of Agriculture & Technology (OUAT).
Speaking on the occasion, Patnaik said, “It is very close to my heart and indeed a noble endeavour towards Skilled-in-Odisha mission”.
He lauded Odisha Skill Development Authority (OSDA) and OUAT for the initiation.
He said that agriculture and allied sectors play a pivotal role in shaping Odisha’s economy. Small and marginal farmers constitute more than 90% of the farming community and more than 60% of workforce of the State is engaged in agriculture and allied sectors.
“Agriculture not only diversified and risk prone, but agricultural practices involve a lot of skills. My government has been sincerely working for skill development to enhance employability and income generation for the rural youth”, Patnaik said.
Talking on the RPL programme, he said that there are many skilled workers employed in agriculture who are not considered as the skilled workforce as they lack formal training and certification. He hoped that identification of such workers pertaining to various agriculture sectors, imparting required skill and knowledge to them through training, assessment of their knowledge level and certification through National Skills Qualification Framework will definitely add to their strength and ability.
“It will enhance their income and will also boost economy of the State”, he said.
He congratulated all the stakeholders including OUAT, Odisha Skill Development Authority and National Skill Development Council for their joint efforts in pioneering the work in the state and taking forward the mission “Skilled-in-Odisha”.
Patnaik felicitated budding mushroom worker Namita Dash and nursery worker Ganeswar Swain by presenting certificates and toolkits.
Notably, OUAT has been assigned with conceptualizing and operationilising RPL programme in agriculture and allied sectors in the state on a pilot basis involving 2,000 farmers, agriculture workers, in and around Bhubaneswar. The programme is being taken up with financial support from the Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment and OSDA.
Nearly 4,000 trainees have been enrolled for the programme in Odisha capital so far.