AIR to broadcast ‘Marali Baa Mannige’ on Sundays

‘Marali Baa Mannige’ (Return to soil), a programme on financial and agricultural literacy designed by All India Radio (AIR), Mysore, and the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), was launched here on Friday.

The series will be broadcast across all AIR stations in the State on Sundays from 7 p.m. to 7.30 p.m. from January 12.

The programme has been designed to spread the message that rural areas offer ample economic opportunities for the youth in agriculture and other rural sectors, and that financial institutions have resources to support entrepreneurial spirit of youth in rural areas for rural economic activities. The programme will highlight schemes of the Union and State governments aimed at promoting agriculture and other rural sector, and also talk about technologies developed by agricultural universities and research stations to make farming a profitable venture.

Minister of State for Agriculture C. Krishna Byre Gowda, who was supposed to launch the programme, could not make it. Corporation Bank executive director B.K. Srivastav launched the programme in the presence of bankers, staff of AIR, Mysore, and farmers from at the Central Institute of Indian Languages here.

In his inaugural address, Mr. Srivastav said agriculture was a key sector for the country’s economic growth. The country’s GDP grew primarily due to the contribution from this sector. “Imagine what will happen to our economy if this crucial sector slows down. Therefore, banks have laid focus on agriculture and other rural sectors,” he said.

He said efforts were on to reach the benefits of banking to the rural sector. Under financial inclusion, banking services were being provided to farmers and other people in rural areas. “My bank’s NPA (non-performing asset) under the farm loan segment is low. My bank will always be there to support farmers and the sector,” he said.

Bankers would also get to learn from those engaged in agriculture because of this programme. The programme would be beneficial to farmers as representatives of various institutes and experts would give solution to their problems, he added.

G.R. Chintala, chief general manager of NABARD, Bangalore, presided over the function. Anand V. Patil, assistant director (programme), AIR, Mysore; D. Somashekara Sastry, chairman of Kaveri Grameena Bank; H.R. Nataraja Urs, Joint Director, Collegiate Education, Mysore region; and N. Usha Rani, professor and head, UGC-UPE, University of Mysore, were present.

About the programme

On the occasion, a brochure on the objectives of the programme was released. “The programme aims to create a hope for pursuing farming as a livelihood activity by youth besides involving influential leaders and religious heads to address social issues such as bringing pride back to farming,” it stated.

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