In Bhutan, we lack the spirit for entrepreneurship and self employment. This can be attributed to many factors such as our inability to take risk, disability to organize our mindset, less encouragement from family and friends and our stereotype culture where we place great importance to civil service.
The extremely high interest rate charged by the banks also disallows a person to set up their own business venture. And, the recent rupee crunch has left a deep impact in our economy.
More than 50% of the Bhutanese population are the youths. And, almost 7000 are jobless at the moment. For a small country like Bhutan with just around Seven Hundred Thousand people, the unemployment rate is alarming.
This reminds me of His Majesty's recent address to the students of Sherbutse College. The excerpts from His Majesty's speech "our greatest advantage is that we are small - it opens up all kinds of possibilities for us, and others admire us because they see our enormous potential''.
His Majesty also reminded the students of the increased challenges and responsibility we are faced with today, with the rupee shortage, inflation, and negative balance of trade. ''We need to diversify our economy," His Majesty said.
His Majesty also asked the students to reflect on whether 3 to 4 years in college will be sufficient to see them though the rest of their lives. His Majesty told the students that we have to work even harder to consolidate past achievements, and ensure that our children inherit a wonderful country, where they can achieve the things we could not, and live by certain standards that we can only dream of...
Bhutanese are very fortunate to have leaders like our kings who places great importance on the people and their lives, who constantly guide us and whom we look up to as role models. His Majesty's speech not only makes it clear that he is really passionate about the future of our country but also stresses to diversify our economy.
Every year hundreds of youths complete their studies and compete for the limited jobs available. The Royal Government of Bhutan should diverse our economy towards the agri sector. This sector if properly developed could have a positive impact on our youths, on our society and on our nation.
The govt. should also create a vibrant platform for more of our jobless school dropout youths and encourage them to take up entrepreneurship programs. So, that young talented people come up with various creative & innovative ideas. And, also assist them to set up their own business units.
Both for the government and the youths, self employment through entrepreneurship like agribusiness is the need of the hour. It can solve the unemployment problem faced by the govt. to some extend. At the same time, it can provide food security in the country and help in alleviating poverty & hunger, and also we can depend less on import of food because there is already a big deficit in our Balance of Trade.
I would like to urge our youths to take up agribusiness as a source of employment and income since Bhutan is still an agrarian country and there is lot of scope in the agrisector.
We say girls and women enjoy gender equality in our society. Even then its very hard to see a woman/girl coming forward for self employment. There are just a handful of women entrepreneurs in the country.
That is why Bhutan is facing a lot of youth related issues like abuse of drugs, teenage pregnancy and gang fights to name a few because our youths are not engaged in productive activity.
The question here is how can we engage and encourage our youths towards agriculture? How can we promote agriculture as a fun and lively activity?
The sole reasons to solve youth unemployment do not lie only with the youths and the government. It is also the duty and responsibility of our teachers and parents to make our children aware of situations in the country because they are the future of our country and it is them who will stir our country in the future.