TAMIL NADU

TNAU plans community radio stations at KVKs

In an effort to reach out to more farmers and members of the public, the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) is planning to start more community radio stations.

The university has written to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting seeking permission to start six such stations at the Krishi Vigyan Kendras in Villupuram, Cuddalore, Tiiruvarur, Nagapattinam, Pudukottai and Virudhunagar districts.

The application was sent more than a month ago and the Ministry was considering the same, sources said.

Fund

Once sanctioned, the varsity would require Rs. 90 lakh to set up the stations. It planned to secure Rs. 65 lakh under the ‘Agriculture Technology Management Agency’ fund and was working out to meet the balance amount and also the operational cost that included salary and content creation expenses. The radio stations would help in content sharing and bring in variety into programmes.

At present the university had only one station on its campus in Coimbatore catering to listeners within a 20 km radius, the sources said.

Programmes

Since December 2010, the community radio station had been airing programmes for four hours a day – between 10 a.m. and noon and 2 and 4 p.m., repeating the programme in the second transmission, said N. Koma, who manages the station.

The two-hour programme includes interviews with leading farmers, entrepreneurs, transmission of success stories, inputs from experts on crop and pest management. Her team had roped in students to host the programme.

C. Karthikeyan, faculty, Agriculture Extension and Rural Sociology said the students would undergo a course in ‘Development Communication’ for which they would visit the radio station to learn about its functioning.

B.Tech. student A.M. Shenaz Parvin said that the 25 programmes she had hosted in the radio station in her two years of study had given her experience that she could not get in classrooms. “I have learnt to improve my communication, make it simple and direct and encourage the guests to talk more.”

T. Shanmugam of Vellalore said that he was making good use of the ideas on bee rearing and mushroom cultivation to multiply his income. He’s a daily wager at a mill here and was hooked onto the station only a month ago.

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