In first government community radio service for Kerala ‘rice bowl’ farmers

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For the first time in Kerala, a community radio service, intended exclusively for agricultural audiences, under the aegis of a government department began broadcasting on Wednesday.

‘Kuttanad 90.0 FM’ was opened by State Agriculture Minister VS Sunil Kumar, who also turned into a radio jockey for a few minutes to start the discussions.

The community radio service, established under the aegis of the Agricultural Information Bureau (FIB) of the Department of Agriculture, aims to inform and educate local farmers on new trends in the sector and state agricultural programs. and central governments.

There would also be programs on various aspects of irrigation and agriculture, from pest reduction to the best use of fertilizers, interviews with experts as well as conversations about local songs and folk tales.

The radio station was installed in the premises of the national seed analysis laboratory in Kalarcode. The service will be available to listeners within a 20 km radius of Kuttanad, Kerala’s famous ‘paddy bowl’ which is one of the few places in the world where rice cultivation is practiced below sea level.

“We started the service with a two hour daily schedule from 7 am to 9 am. We will need more time to get into full-fledged operations and we will hire more staff to run full day programs, ”said George Sebastian, Senior Information Officer at FIB. “We started this in Kuttanad because it’s a special place, not just because of the agriculture below sea level. This is also where the farmers face the most problems due to the annual flooding and collapse of bunds. We want to address their problems. Through this radio service, we also aim to revive the lost art forms and folk songs of Kuttanad. “

If Kuttanad radio becomes a successful model, the government plans to open more stations in areas like Idukki, Wayanad and Thrissur to address specific agrarian issues in those places.

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