Wednesday, 12 August 2009

[creative-radio] INDIA: Farm Radio for Kuttanad soon

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Jaisakthivel <>
Date: 2009/8/11
Subject: [cr-india] Farm Radio for Kuttanad soon
To: dx india <>

Farm Radio for Kuttanad soon

Farmers of Kuttanad will shortly have a community radio for themselves,
alerting them on weather changes and imparting essential tips on agriculture
apart from attempting to help them tide over the agrarian crisis that has
been dogging the region for long.

The Kuttanad Farm Radio, as the initiative will be known, is a project of
the Farm Information Bureau (FIB), Thiruvananthapuram and is among the
measures being initiated by the State Government to tackle the lack of
information that has led to aggravation of disasters brought upon Kuttanads
farmers by the vagaries of nature.

According to FIB officer G.S. Unnikrishnan, the project was announced last
month by Agriculture Minister Mullakkara Ratnakaran in the State Assembly
and work has already begun with the objective of launching the radio, the
first of its kind in the State, within three months.

To serve farmers in a radius of 25km from the centre of Kuttanad, the
Kuttanad Farm Radio will have technical inputs from agricultural experts in
the State Agriculture Department and will be operated by professional
jockeys. Expected to cost around Rs. 30 lakh, the radio station will most
probably be located at the Rice Research Institute in Mankombu here. The
cost could vary depending on the transmitter capacity, Mr. Unnikrishnan

A survey to identify the requirements of Kuttanad farmers and to chalk out
programmes accordingly is already on. Kuttanad-specific programmes will be
broadcast twice a day. If the experiment turns out to be successful, plans
are afoot to establish similar community radio stations in Palakkad,
Ernakulam, Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam.

"Since it is the State Government that will be running the radio station in
association with the All India Radio, we require approval of the Union
Information and Broadcasting Ministry to launch the radio. We have already
submitted necessary applications and hope the approval comes without much
delay," Mr. Unnikrishnan said.

Similar community radio station projects were launched by non-governmental
organizations, albeit for fishermen, but did not prove to be sustainable
ventures, Mr. Unnikrishnan said, adding that the pre-launch survey for the
Kuttanad Farm Radio would help to avoid any glitches.

Jaisakthivel, Chennai
cr-india mailing list

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