The Prime Minister of India addresses the people of the country through a popular programme called “Mann Ki Baat” on All India Radio to interact with the citizens on contemporary issues. Since its start on 03 October 2014, it has covered a total of 99 episodes till 26 March 2023. The current agricultural issues have been in focus to inspire and motivate the farming community and other stakeholders.
In order to assess the reflections on the inspiration and motivation of the programme on farming communities, a joint study by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi and the National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management, (MANAGE), Hyderabad was carried out. The outcome of the studies appeared in different journals*. A launching programme of these publications was held today (25-04-2023) in New Delhi under the Chairmanship of Secretary, DARE and Director General, ICAR in the presence of senior officers of the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare including ICAR.
The highlights of these publications are given below.
Insights from these studies revealed that natural farming, conservation of natural resources and willingness to adopt Integrated Farming Systems (diversification) were the smallholder farmers’ most preferred topics covered in the Mann Ki Baat episodes. Another assessment with millet farmers revealed that the message communicated through Mann Ki Baat interaction and follow-up actions by the Krishi Vigyan Kendra professionals have strengthened farmers’ perceptions of the process of adoption of improved varieties of millets and production system and created a congenial environment for agri-entrepreneurship. Digital technology, including drones and mobile, highlighted in Mann Ki Baat episode(s), was found to have a significant influence on the increase in farmers’ awareness and knowledge about the adoption of agricultural technology.
Mann Ki Baat could also create a positive environment for Farmer’s Producer Organizations (FPOs) to ease the agri-business and reduce the cost of cultivation of farmers (20-25%). Studies on beekeeping showed that after the Mann Ki Baat programme, beekeepers, with better exposure to institutional knowledge and resources, were found to earn better profit in groups than individuals, except for technical problems being faced.
Message on Kisan Rail could also sensitize and mobilize the farmers to avail of its services. The Kisan Rail could facilitate farmers to transport their perishable agri-produce with lesser time and higher net profits with reduced involvement of middlemen. Therefore, we learned that the Mann Ki Baat programme was crucial in creating a favourable environment among the farmers for enhancing awareness and their mobilization.
*Note: These studies are published and available online from the Indian Journal of Agricultural Sciences[93(4): 351-357; 93(4):358-364; 93(5): 3-11], Indian Journal of Extension Education[2023, 59 (3):1-6; 2023, 59(3):8-13)]; Journal of Community Mobilization & Sustainable Development [2023, 18(1): 315-327; 2023, 18(1): 79-88]and Journal of Agricultural Extension Management [2023, XXIV (1): 1-21;2023, XXIV No. (1):51-83.
Disclaimer: This is an official press release by pib.