Agriculture Skill Council of India (ASCI) held the second Poultry Skill Advisory Meeting on 4th August 2017, at Hotel Green Park, Hyderabad. The agenda for the meeting included key points like mobilization of resources for skill development, identification of potential training partners, need for joint effort to be undertaken by various stakeholders and Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for the existing workforce. The participants in the meeting included government departments, industry bodies and training Institutions, besides members from ASCI.
Participants in the meeting: Dr Satender Singh Arya, CEO, ASCI; Dr E Gopal Reddy, L.B. College, Warangal; Dr. Kotaiah, INDBRO Research and Breeding Farm Pvt Ltd Hyderabad; Mr K V S Reddy, Shri Technologies; Mr Rakesh Gehlot, Srinivasa Farms; Dr. Bharti Singh CPDO (WR), Mumbai; Dr U Rajkumar ICAR-Directorate of Poultry Research; Dr Madhuri Dubey, National Skills Network –NSN; Mr Mohit Raja, Raja Farms Pvt Ltd; Mr V Siddharth, Agriel; Mr N. Ramakrishna Agriel; Mr B. Abhilash Agriel; Dr. Manjunatha BP, Varsha Farms; Dr K Ravikumar ASCI; Mr Sunil Naik ASCI; Ms Priyanka Prakash, ASCI.
The meeting focused on understanding the industry requirements in the poultry sector in the larger backdrop of skilling, employment and entrepreneurship. The meeting began with an introduction of participants and it was followed by a presentation by Dr. Arya (CEO,ASCI) giving an overview of Agriculture Skill Council of India, how sector skill councils function and the importance of NSQF level, supporting bodies of ASCI, key focus areas, partnerships and activities (funding by UGC for vocational courses), importance of recognition of prior learning, collaboration with national & international partners. A short video was shown on RPL and NSQF.
In the opening presentation, Dr Satender Arya provided an overview of requirements for skilled professionals in India, particularly in agriculture and allied sectors. He explained the operations of Ministry of Skill Development, NSDC, NSDA, ITIs, Sector Skill Councils (SSCs) and said that 49% employment is generated in Agriculture sector that includes dairy, poultry, fisheries.
He also spoke about the SSCs in detail and shared some highlights of the poultry sector about India being the third largest egg and fifth largest poultry meat producer in the world and there are about 123,000 poultry farmers in India. This sector is valued at Rs 330 billion with a total of 300,000 poultry farms in India. Over 90% of the poultry production comes from small poultry farmers, who are located in rural areas.
Some of the critical issues that needed immediate attention pertained to the unorganized ways of operations and strategies of scaling up production with sustained productivity levels. Following issues were discussed during the meeting: lack of a skilled workforce, imbalance in poultry production, unorganized state of marketing, inadequate infrastructure and credit facilities and occurrence of poultry diseases.
Points discussed in the second Poultry Skills Advisory Meeting
The open discussion saw active participation from representatives of various government departments, training institutions and industry. Brainstorming took place on the roadmap of skill development plan wherein first step involves studying the workforce requirement as well as the existing skill gap, how to make the jobs aspirational and how to attract and retain people, aligning of courses to the NSQF levels for defining career progression pathways, financial support available through various government schemes
- Immense scope exists for skilling in Poultry segment on account of the 10% annual growth of the Poultry industry. It, therefore, becomes imperative for working out the industry needs of the skilled manpower so that the same can be addressed through fresh trainings, upskilling and reskilling of existing employees/workers.
- The delegates deliberated on the criticality of the niche skills required in the Poultry segment like Chick Sexer, AI Technicians and Vaccinators and Chicken Grader. The industry is open to absorb 10th -12th passed candidates having required skills. The deliberated on the issue of narrow-based Qualification Packs (QPs) and National Occupational Standards and sought modifications to address the shortage of talent in chick sexing roles.
- The industry also voiced inclusion of technology interventions, standard training content, quality video based learning modules in addition to industry visits and practical farm trainings. In addition, apprenticeship model could be worked out for retention of youth ensuring long-term employment.
- Recognition of Prior Learning of the existing workforce-different models of RPL were discussed wherein the concept of RPL was explained with scope for industry and training partners to collaborate undertake SSC approved certification.
- The industry unanimously expressed that training/skilling can only happen with proper industry support and collaboration with ASCI and agriculture universities.
- There is a growing need to set norms emphasizing the need of the skill certificate for the recruitment of the manpower/ easy credit
- Poultry Farm and Training Institution representatives were requested to affiliate their training centres with ASCI and also facilitate ToT and participate in PMKVY Program
The meeting concluded with the action point for ASCI to share the Affiliation Protocol Document and the QPs developed so far with the participants.