The state government is all set to introduce community radios in different rural areas to let farmers get all sort of updated “area specific” information related to agriculture.
Purnendu Basu, the state agriculture minister, said: “The policy in this connection has already been taken by the state government and the preliminary task for setting up the community radio stations has also started. The initiative has been taken as our motto is to keep the farmers well informed about the regular changes taking place in the sector and different schemes launched for them”.
The project will initiate with the setting up of community radio stations after demarking certain areas into four to five zones and it will be implemented all across the state including the hills with the success of the initial phase. Community radio plays an important role in broadcasting information according to the interest of residents of a small area or a community as they share common issues.
In first run, two community radios of different frequencies will be aired in two different areas in Burdwan and Birbhum. Each of the community radios will be covering a radius of around 20 to 30 km radius.
The areas where there is the maximum yield compared to that of other places have been chosen for the initial phase of the project.
According to the agriculture minister, the district authorities will be handling the operation of the community radios and they have been given the responsibility of preparing and executing the programme schedule. “Initially it may take some time to make it function properly. But once the entire system will be in place it will be the most convenient tool for the district authorities to reach to farmers for disseminating any sort of information, especially when they need to give warnings based on weather forecasts,” said Basu adding that besides alerting them about the changes in weather condition, the main motto is to make them more informative about the updated technologies which can help farmers get a better yield.
More importantly, people can listen to a broadcast in their own colloquial language as the basic concept of community radio is to cater to a small group of people.
As per the existing plan, senior officials like District Magistrates can also convey their messages to farmers if needed through the community radios.
The community radios are also called the people’s radio in different parts of the world and it is quite famous among students of a particular university, IITs or residential educational institutions.
It may be mentioned that the state government had taken several steps after the change of guard in the state to educate farmers about the updated and modern technology.
Mati Tirtha in Burdwan, the venue of Mati Utsav, was the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s dream project. Programmes including regular workshop for farmers where they get lessons from experts and scientists and also get information about various schemes are being organised in Mati Tirtha.
At the same time the state agriculture department has decided to set up automated weather stations in each and every block of the state so that farmers get weather updates without any loss of time.