Youth Employment and Rural Entrepreneurship (YERE) project will be commissioned this fiscal year through the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (MoAF) with the financial support from the Japan Social Development Fund (JSDF) and managed by the World Bank.The project is designed and implemented to facilitate and contribute in the generation of new and more productive employment for the poor and vulnerable youth in the six selected dzongkhags in south-western Bhutan, especially during the difficult time of the COVID-19 pandemic.
500 youth will receive training in Samtse, Haa, Chukha, Trongsa, Dagana and Wangdue Phodrang. After competing the training, they will have to submit their business proposals. Out of 500, only 100 best business proposals will be selected and the selected business proposals will be provided with grant amounting upto USD 10,000 each. However, the grant amount will depend on their proposal and the investment needed.
A survey will be carried out with the focus on understanding the situation of the school dropouts, unemployed and underemployed young people ranging from 18 to 35 years, and the possibility in employment opportunities available locally. It will also focus on establishing a coordinated supply and chain businesses for the youth that will also benefit the community as a whole in income-generation and employment.
Apart from creating employment opportunities for the poor and vulnerable youth, YERE project will also promote the establishment or upgrading of youth-led, youth-managed and youth-operated business enterprises. YERE project ensures that the opportunity is given to all youth, especially the vulnerable youth in the six dzongkhags irrespective of any past records of drugs or any crimes or for youth without Citizenship Identity Cards. The agricultural officials learnt that the youth with crime and drugs records are interested to take up agri-business. Engagement of the youth with their self-employment in agri-business and RNR sector will contribute in achieving the national goals of enhancing economic opportunities for the unemployed youth, alleviating rural poverty and curbing rural-urban migration, while reducing the vulnerability of poor in the remote areas of the country.
Based on the local needs of social dynamics, the project would empower the poorest and most vulnerable communities through support for capacity building and investment in youth-driven enterprise initiatives, create jobs for poor and unemployed youth through agricultural and natural resources based activities and improve the lines of communication between the local government and private sectors entities, and the unemployment youth in the poorest and most vulnerable communities, building local capacity and raising awareness of employment options and opportunities.
The project also intends to empower the youth with self-confidence, knowledge, appropriate skills and start-up enterprise opportunities.