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INDIA: Pineapple farmers and processors take part in new online training

Don Bosco Tech Society collaborates to provide new online training to pineapple farmers and processors


(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco Tech Society, in New Delhi, India, has partnered with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industries (FICCI) and Food Industry Capacity & Skill Initiative (FISCI) for the Traditional Cluster Development: Virasat – The Heritage program. The program provides short-term online training and certification for pineapple farmers and processors in the Indian state of Assam.

Virasat – The Heritage is an initiative by the chamber and provides a platform for those working in small and medium enterprises at the traditional cluster level to showcase their talents and to share their skills and talents with the world. The program also offers a platform to different traditional clusters from different Indians states to share best practices and share resources.

The new online training program has been particularly helpful during the lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. While online learning was new for pineapple farmers and processors, it made it possible for them to advance their careers during this time. One of the goals of the training was to also create sustainable linkages between the rural and urban economies.

The training modules included digital literacy, financial literacy, supply chain management, packaging and entrepreneurship. Additional topics included the value addition of pineapple and e-commerce websites. The online training is working to promote pineapple growers and fruit entrepreneurs and encourages them to form farmers production organizations at cluster levels across the state.

Don Bosco Tech Society has already trained and certified 111 participants. The initial training was launched in a pilot program, which helped to refine the training, improve the content and delivery and plan for a bigger reach.

“Don Bosco Tech Society is one of India’s largest skills training institutions,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Access to professional training and workforce development services, like those offered by Don Bosco Tech Society, is highly valued by youth in the country because many are unemployed and lack the resources to provide for themselves and their families.”

India, which is home to 1.35 billion people (18 percent of the world’s population), will have overtaken China as the world’s most populous country by 2024, according to the World Economic Forum. While India has the world’s largest youth population, the country has yet to capitalize, leaving some 30 percent of this population not in employment, education or training.

India has the world’s fourth largest economy but more than 22 percent of the country lives in poverty. About 31 percent of the world’s multidimensionally poor children live in India, according to a new report by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative. A multidimensionally poor child is one who lacks at least one-third of 10 indicators, grouped into three dimensions of poverty: health, education and standard of living.

India’s youth also face a lack of educational opportunities due to issues of caste, class and gender. Almost 44 percent of the workforce is illiterate and less than 10 percent of the working-age population has completed a secondary education. In addition, many secondary school graduates do not have the knowledge and skills to compete in today’s changing job market.



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