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Govt yet to work out details of Krishi channel, says I&B Ministry

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NEW DELHI: Even as details are being worked out by Prasar Bharati in consultation with the stakeholders for a Krishi (farmer) channel as outlined by the finance minister Arun Jaitley in his budget, no definite timeframe has been fixed for commencement of the channel.

Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry sources said this will depend on availability of resources and manpower after the details have been worked out. 

Jaitley had announced in his budget speech on 10 July that a sum of Rs 100 crore would be allocated for this channel. However, the budget for the I&B Ministry shows an allocation of Rs 90 crore for this in the year 2014-15.

Meanwhile, the Krishi Darshan programmes of Doordarshan are being telecast under the ‘mass media support to agriculture extension’ funded by the Agriculture Ministry focussing on dissemination of modern agricultural techniques by involving experts from various fields like insurance, banking, credit for farmers, state government schemes on agriculture/ fisheries/veterinary science/water and soil conservation/social forestry etc.

In addition, a recently introduced programme Mera Gaon Connection telecast at prime time on DD National also introduces modern agricultural techniques to the viewers.  

Meanwhile, Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing Industries Sanjeev Kumar Balyan told Parliament that the “mass media support to agricultural extension and focused publicity campaigns has been strengthened to reach out to all farmers including small and marginal.”

The audio and video spots and success stories are being aired through All India Radio (AIR), Doordarshan and private channels operating at the national and regional level.  

The other component of the mass media initiative is the use of 96 FM Transmitters of AIR to broadcast area specific agricultural programmes with 30 minutes radio transmission in the evening six days a week. Focused advertisement campaigns which cut across all the divisions of the ministry have been continuing since July 2010.

The campaigns are being launched through print as well as electronic media to create awareness about the assistance available under various schemes of the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation.

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