Making waves

A community radio service at Resode taluka of Maharashtra’s Washim disttrict is disseminating information on latest farming technologies.

ATIKH RASHID

Santosh Jadhav, 35, of Mothegaon village in Resode taluka would always spray pesticides thrice in his soyabean fields. But this time Jadhav changed the decades-old schedule, he has cut it down to just one spray following the advice of experts.

And he isn’t regretting taking the risk. With just one spray,the money spent on pesticides is saved and the growth of the crop has remained unaffected so far.

Likewise, Shyamrao Deshmukh of Tandalwadi village of the same taluka says he was inspired to grow tomatoes , a not-so-common crop in Vidarbha, after listening to the interview of a farmer. “I thought if he can do it in a similar soil and climate,then why can’t I? This season I grew tomatoes on two acres and and had a good yield.”

Both Jadhav and Deshmukh are avid listeners of a community radio service that was launched in June 2010 at Karda at Resode taluka of Washim in Maharashtra’s suicide-affected Vidarbha region.

The service, christened ‘Swaranant’,is disseminating information about latest farm technology and practices,and is run by the Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK).

“While we are making advances in agricultural research,its dissemination is comparatively laggard. We thought a radio station can help tide over this time gap,” aid S K Deshmukh, convener, KVK, Karda.

The infrastructure for the radio station,including transmitters,s tudio, antennas, came from the Rs 22 lakh grant that the KVK got from the agricultural department under ATMA (Agricultural Technology Management Agency) scheme. The station has recently been approached by NABARD for holding awareness programme for its Financial Inclusion Scheme.

Recently,the station has also signed a deal with the Hyderabad- based Nagarjuna Fertiliser Pvt Ltd for broadcasting its advertisements.

Majha Vavar Majha Shivar’ (My Farm,My Village), Shetachya Bandhavar (On the Farmgate), Pashudhan and Krishi Sandesh are among the 33 different programmes the station broadcasts in a week.

Majha Vavar Majha Shivar deals with the recent technologies or practices recommended by experts to increase productivity and lower cost of production. It also involves interviews with agricultural experts and innovative farmers.

Pashudhan, which deals with livestock management, is also popular. “Many farmers say they went for livestock rearing after they got information about government schemes on the radio,” said Deshmukh.

“As phone-in programmes are usually popular,we have one named ‘Jhalkiyan‘ where audience can request to replay a piece of the programme which they liked during the last week,” says A R Parvez,the station in charge.

At present, the service could be tuned at 90.4 MHz in about 100 villages that lie within the a radius of 20 km abound Karda.

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