Farmers having access to digital video disc (DVD) players can learn more about farm practices as DVDs on agriculture practices and animal husbandry produced by an agriculture graduate have hit the market.
Venkatramana Hegde, the agricultural documentary filmmaker who has produced them for open market sale, said that since 2004 till now he has produced 26 DVDs (titles) in Kannada, 25 in English, 13 in Tamil and seven in Hindi.
The DVDs produced by Mr. Hegde, an agricultural graduate from the University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad, cover various subjects. Some of them are commercial cultivation of banana, grafting techniques, dry land farming, bee keeping, organic farming, grape cultivation and commercial dairying.
Animal husbandry has not been left out. DVDs are available on rearing emu, Indian cow breeds, duck, country chicken, rabbit and sheep.
Mr. Hegde said that the script was made after consulting progressive farmers, scientists in universities and research institutes.
To a question on whether the script would lay stress on organic farming, natural farming or chemical based farming he said: “We present the reality without taking sides on any particular method of farming.”
Mr. Hegde, who earlier worked with two television channels, said that his knowledge as an agriculture graduate and production knowledge in the channels helped him in producing and directing the documentaries.
The duration of the programme varied from 40 minutes to 65 minutes depending on the topic.
It was in 2002-2003 when vanilla was the flavour of the season. Manual pollination was an important aspect to make vanilla creepers bear beans. Many farmers who knew this skill were not divulging it to others.
This inspired him to make it a mission to spread the farming knowledge in his own way. During his stint as TV producer there were many requests from farmers for a CD of the agriculture-related programme telecast. It was not possible to give away CDs due to copyright issues.
Mr. Hegde said that it was then he thought of making farm DVDs on his own and sell them. Initially he made CDs on vanilla production, which received good response at an agriculture fair at Dharwad. Then he did not look back.
He said that his DVDs had now reached West Asia, Afghanistan and the Netherlands. “Particularly there is demand for DVDs on pomegranate and beekeeping from Afghanistan,” he said.
Yogesh H.R., Deputy Director of Horticulture, Dakshina Kannada said that he has watched some of those DVDs. Some methods in it could be adopted. It guided farmers to some extent. Adoption of farm practices also depended on local conditions, he said.