Lithuania’s Minister of Agriculture Vigilijus Jukna has revealed what are considered the major problems in the livestock sector in the agriculture industry, reports ELTA. At a meeting with the press on Oct. 24 he said that a serious problem is the lack of agriculture specialists in Lithuania. According to him, fewer and fewer students see their future in livestock farming.
The minister said that in recent years there were no students in certain study programs essential for agriculture because of the unfocused funding and development of specialists.
“Preparation of specialists was disrupted. We said in 2009 and in 2010 that this will be a serious issue, and now there really is a lack of livestock technicians. We cannot talk about development of a certain branch or competitiveness when there are no specialists in that field,” said the minister of agriculture.
According to the minister, the situation was caused by an inefficient policy for education vouchers. There were no students in certain programs because funding of certain studies was cut and those who were not funded, but wanted to study in these programs, had to pay by themselves.
However, the situation is being improved. Jukna said that a minimum number of needed professionals should be prepared and negotiations with the Ministry of Education are ongoing. In addition, agricultural companies are ready to employ young professionals and pay considerable salaries, but the demand for specialists is higher than the supply.