An Agriculture Technical Institute located at Malika Rural Municipality-7, Bim in Myagdi district has run a campaign entitled 'students in farmland' to connect learners with production and income. The technical institute which offers education in agriculture and veterinary streams has also attracted students. After obtaining approval from CTEVT in 2068 BS, the Institute started delivering different courses ranging from 29-month JTA to a three-year Diploma in Agriculture and three-year animal science.
Institute Chief Karan Kandel shared that students from 21 districts now are pursuing technical education in the institute in different genres. With the launching of teaching and learning in agriculture technical education in community schools, the students have also gained the opportunity to engage in outdoor farming practice along with classroom-based education. "In order to connect the agriculture students with production and income, the Institute has laid emphasis on engaging students in practical sessions on farms. The students are directly involved in harvesting fruits, vegetables, and indigenous crops and are also selling out the produce in the market", he shared. "We do have our own agro farm where we cultivate different vegetable and fruits items, mushroom farming and fish-keeping. We are sending our students to farms to work together with farmers so that they can learn applied knowledge and skills", Kandel added.
The students pursuing agriculture technical subjects are not only attaining education but have also started extending technical assistance to the farmers. Kandel shared the students have also been identifying the problems of farmers and providing support in different technical areas. It has also helped farmers modernize their agriculture profession. As many as 60 graduates from the Institute have so far attained employment and self-employment opportunities and are expanding their regular income base, Kandel further informed.
The Institute has been imparting applied education to students by taking 20 ropanis of land on rent. Agriculture products of the rented land are being sold out in the local market. The students are entitled to receive 75 percent of the profit from the sale. "The Institute provides necessary inputs including seeds to the students. The institute keeps 25 percent of the profit from the sale for next time investment", said the Principal of the Institute, Junga Bahadur Garbuja. Most of the time the students is spent on farms. They also transfer the knowledge and skills attained in school to their family members at home.
The guardians who have been adopting traditional farming are also happy to apply the technical knowledge of their offspring on farms. "We have been doing subsistence-based farming. Despite arduous engagement in the field, we could not earn up income from vegetable farming", said Tilkumari Rijal. She added, "With the application of the knowledge my daughter gained from the technical institute, we have shifted to commercial farming since last year. Now the production and sale of veggie items has gone up", she added.
The students are also confident about gaining employment opportunities after pursuing technical education. "Agriculture was my subject of interest since childhood," said Bishal Rijal, an agriculture student, adding, "I used to go with my parents in the farmland and support agriculture activities since my childhood. I am happy now to pursue agriculture education in my own village". The Institute has also constructed a hostel taking into consideration the accommodation of students coming from far-flung areas.