Rural enterprises, are a viable pathway to poverty alleviation and sustainable livelihoods. They possess tremendous job creation potentials, provides economic independence and empowerment and ensures social justice. In order to support rural enterprises especially in the agriculture sector, IIRD is implementing the “Green College” programme to address the skill gap in the agriculture sector.
Green Colleges are community centric institutions with good learning facilities and experienced trainers offering short- and medium-term certificate courses along with farmer field schools to create new green professions in sustainable agriculture and allied sectors. They are aimed at improving the lives of the unskilled and semi-skilled rural workforce by imparting need-based skills to build ecopreneurs, who not only have incremental income, but also manage agriculture as a viable business.
11 Green Colleges have been established with the support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Gesellschaft fürInternationaleZusammenarbeit (GIZ)/Green Innovation Centre project in 5 states of India - Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal, Maharashtra and Karnataka. These regional vocational institutions have trained nearly 30,000 young people from marginalised rural areas.
The Green College programme also provides an acceleration programme for high potential entrepreneurs called Fast Track. Under this programme, high potential rural youth (HPRY) are supported and mentored in business development and scaling up their micro enterprises.
IIRD runs the following courses under the Green College
- Training courses under the Farmers Field School (one day) are vegetable cultivation through organic practices, animal husbandry and bio-input production.
- Training courses under the Short Duration Training (one month) are goat rearing, backyard poultry, dairy farming and livestock rearing
- Training courses under the Medium Duration Training (3 months) include organic farming, bio input production and application, goat rearing and animal husbandry management.