India launches TV channel to engage farmers in social and economic issues

Signal of change / India launches TV channel to engage farmers in social and economic issues

By Harriet Trefusis / 20 Jan 2015

A new, 24-hour educational television channel is being developed for Indian farmers to enhance knowledge sharing around national agriculture. The Information and Broadcasting Ministry are looking to various sources in order to create educational and entertaining programmes, such as quiz shows, that will both attract a wide viewing base and be relevant to specific regions, relating to diverse agro-economic zones and crops with different climates.

Material will be sourced from agricultural universities and institutes, as well as from experts in diverse fields, such as governmental schemes relating to agriculture, conservation and financial services available to farmers. There are also plans for ideas to be inspired by crowdsourcing from the target viewers, for interesting concepts based on public opinion. The topics will be based around practical areas, such as weather forecasts and which crops to grow.

It will be initially broadcast in Hindi, but there are proposals for programming in 11 additional regional languages to further expand the reach. Different channels would allow greater concentrations on the region specific characteristics, relating to diverse agro-economic zones and crops with different climates.

Image credit: F. Fiondella (IRI/CCAFS)

So what?

The channel has the potential to disseminate new innovations in Indian agriculture, and to share ideas and farming techniques between different regions and groups. By supporting the sense of a community facing common challenges, it could also help counter depression and suicide among India’s farmers.

Sources

Indian Television (6 December 2014)). Channel for farmers to be launched early next year  

India Times (6 July 2014). Dedicated channel 'DD Kisan' for farmers soon: Prakash Javadekar. 

Business Standard (4 August 2014). DD's Kisan TV channel: Govt brainstorms programme ideas

What might the implications of this be? What related signals of change have you seen?

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