TV: A tool for transforming agriculture sector

Dr. Parveen Kumar

The present is an ‘information explosion’ era. We get information from numerous sources. Among the various sources, Television is one of the greatest inventions of science which revolutionized information and communication among all sectors of human lives including agriculture. The instrument was invented by John L Baird in 1925. This invention has helped the human societies around the world in news broadcast, entertainment, communication, development, disaster management, technology dissemination and various areas from the very beginning of the invention.


World Television Day

A MASS COMMUNICATION MEDIUM: Television is primarily a means of mass communication. Mass media are those channels of communication which can expose large numbers of people to the same information at the same time. Different mass media sources of information like the newspapers, radio and television and modern Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) play an important role in disseminating relevant information well in advance of time to the farming community. Mass media communication is recognized as one of the most important methods in transferring of agricultural technology. Mass communication is targeted for the general people for creating awareness and technology dissemination. These technologies may relate to crops, livestock, fisheries, forestry and meteorological information that have an impact on agricultural development. In agriculture these features are utilized for the dissemination of technologies. Agricultural growth is vital for promoting economic advancement and for ensuring food security for the burgeoning population more so in less developed countries. Since India is an agrarian economy and a developing one, agricultural development is primary necessity for the country’s growth and a robust economy. All interventions should thus focus on this issue. So television as the mass media channel is very much essential in agricultural technology dissemination.
In recent years, the use of mass media, especially television is increasing the knowledge regarding different aspects of crop and livestock production among the farming community. The television disseminate information in a simple way to understand easy through its different programmes related to agriculture, health, education, industrialization and many other. These agricultural programmes enhance the capacity building of farmers. The information disseminated leads to knowledge enhancement and decision making among farming community. Although the use of ICT based technologies is on the rise in the country but studies reveal that in rural areas mostly farmers still depend on television, newspaper and radio regarding the information about agriculture in rural areas. Print and electronic media still is the main source of getting agriculture information among the farmers in the rural areas. Even the Food and Agriculture Organization FAO (2001) has recognized that television is the most important medium for communicating information among rural people of developing countries. TV is playing an important role in spreading information and enabling the remote areas people to make decision regarding their farm activities. Such thing usually has been observed in developing countries. Agricultural related programs are still watched by the respondents’ as the next priority after news and drama. Television as a communication media has a great potential for influencing farmers to stimulate agricultural development
SUPPLEMENTING AG. EXTENSION SYSTEMS: Agriculture extension system of a country largely determines the development of agriculture sector of that particular country. The innovations and technologies generated by research system are carried to the farmers through this extension delivery system. The major strength of extension service is the extension workers who personally work through various extension methods to transfer the technology to the farmers and get them adopted for increased production. The complementary and supplementary tools for extension systems are mass media like radio, television, mobile phone, internet, result and method demonstration etc. Television today has emerged as a tool having the advantage of both audio and video systems in the same device supplementing and complimenting the efforts of extension systems existing in different countries of the world.
HIGHER LEVEL OF ADOPTION AND INCOME: A number of research studies conducted by researchers across the globe have reflected that radio and television used by the farmers in different countries to different extent were perceived as effective by the farmers. These had an effective role in improving awareness and increasing level of knowledge of farmers. The different agricultural programmes and technologies broadcasted through these mass media sources leads to higher level of adoption of such technologies. The farmers were benefitted with increased income and increased marketing opportunities by accessing marketing information from such programmes. In several researches it was revealed that television had a significant role in increasing agricultural knowledge of the farmers. A research carried out to assess the role of television channels on agricultural development in Pakistan showed that television was moderately effective in increasing their agricultural income. Another study carried out in Bangladesh revealed that farmers obtained high production utilizing the agricultural information obtained from television channels. In another study it was found that television was the most effective mass media channel for influencing knowledge increase of the farmers.
AGRICULTURE ON TELEVISION: India had started in the late sixties (January 26, 1967) telecasting a farm TV programme popularly known as ‘Krishi Darshan’ for communicating agricultural information to the farmers on experimental basis in 80 villages of union territory of Delhi.. Experiment was successful as substantial improvement was observed in adopting better agricultural practices by the farmers. With the passing of time many more agricultural programmes were added on in this bucket to empower agricultural sector and farming community of our country. DD Kisan is another Indian agriculture 24-hour television channel, which is owned by Doordarshan and was launched on 26 May 2015. The channel is dedicated to agriculture and related sectors, which disseminates real-time inputs to farmers on new farming techniques, water conservation and organic farming among other information.
WORLD TELEVISION DAY: The first ‘World Television Forum’ was held on November 21 and 22 in 1996 by the United Nations. Leading media figures met in this forum to discuss the growing significance of television in the rapidly changing world and consider how they might enhance their mutual cooperation. The United Nation leaders recognized that television could bring attention to conflicts, raise awareness of threats to peace and security, and sharpen focus on social and economic issues. Television was acknowledged as a major tool in informing, channeling, and affecting public opinion, having an undoubtable presence and influence on world politics. Recognizing the all important role of Television in all aspects of individual as well as social life, the UN General Assembly decided to name November 21 as ‘World Television Day’. It was not meant to celebrate the object itself, but to celebrate the symbol for communication and globalization in the contemporary world that it represents.
The day recognizes that television plays a major role in presenting different issue that affect people. It is a day to renew governments’, organizations’ and individuals’ commitments to support the development of television media in providing unbiased information about important issues and events that affect society. Let us also use the day as an opportunity to discuss media how television promotes and can be further used to augment cultural diversity and a common understanding and its role in social, political and economic development.
(The author is a Scientist at KVK-Leh)