Farmers will soon have a 24-hour TV channel dedicated to agriculture and related issues, providing the farming community with information related to aspects like weather forecast and seeds.
To be named 'DD Kisan', the government and the Prasar Bharati are working on finalising the plans for launching the channel at the earliest. "DD Kisan will come up very soon," Information and Broadcasting minister Prakash Javadekar told PTI when asked about the plans to launch agriculture based channels. The BJP had before the 2014 General Elections declared that if voted to power, it would "explore setting up of regional Kisan TV channels."
Earlier, Prasar Bharati had been deliberating whether a single agriculture channel would suffice considering the different languages and requirements in various states and regions of the country. There was a proposal for having a single channel with windows for programming in 11 regional language channels. "Producing content related to agriculture is challenging because different geographical regions constitute different agro-economic zones and different areas have different crops. Moreover farmers in different states, different climates speak different languages. So the content has to be region-specific," an official said.
Doordarshan and also the All India Radio already have been running programmes related to agriculture and farming. The official said AIR and Doordarshan had played an important role in spreading awareness in the green revolution.
Running a channel based on agriculture for farmers is also in line with Prasar Bharati's mandate as a Public Service Broadcaster, officials said. The Prasar Bharati Act lays down that the public broadcaster should pay special attention to fields of agriculture and rural development along with areas like education and spread of literacy, environment, health and family welfare and science and technology.