Editorial

Deficiency of skilled labour in agriculture

Update:

The main driving force of Bangladesh’s economy is agriculture, but this sector sees lack of skilled labour. This situation is rather disappointing.

According to a research by Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) director general Dr KAS Murshid, Bangladesh mostly lacks labour in agriculture and food processing sectors. There is lack of 75 per cent skilled labour in this sector.

The Labour Force Survey 2010 shows 47.5 per cent of the total Bangladeshi work force is engaged in agriculture. But it is utterly dismaying that 75 per cent of the labour force is unskilled in the sector. About 60 per cent of the total Bangladeshi population is dependent on agriculture for livelyhood in one way or another. There is no alternative to skilled labourers in this sector.

Experts said labour force in agriculture sector is declining as the rural people are flocking into urban areas for other options. As a result, the land owners are leaving their lands unused, or using them for alternative purposes. Our concern is, if a labour shortage hits the agricultural sector hard, it would create a disastrous impact on crop production and food security.

Dr KAS Murshid made a recommendation in his research paper that four million labourers should be trained for agriculture and other sectors in next five years to fulfill the labour deficiency.  Another 5.6 million labourers should be trained within 2025.

We have the same opinion. We too want skilled labours to work in all the sectors, because without skilled labour force, a sector can be ruined.

So, the government should take necessary steps immediately. The government has to ensure that along with the training, the rural people would stay in rural areas. The government also will have to fix wages fairly for the rural labour force and provide other incentives.

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