New Delhi (The Hawk): The Prime Minister of India addresses 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 inspiration and motivation of the programme on farming communities, a joint study by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi and 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 presence of senior officers of Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare including ICAR.
Insights from these studies revealed that the natural farming, conservation of natural resources and willingness to adopt the 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 on the process of adoption of improved varieties of millets and production system and created congenial environment for agri-entrepreneurship. Digital technology, including drone and mobile, highlighted in Mann Ki Baat episode(s), was found to have significant influence on increase in farmers’ awareness and knowledge about adoption of agricultural technology. Mann Ki Baat could also create a positive environment on Farmers Producer Organizations (FPOs) to ease the agri-business and reducing the cost of cultivation of farmers (20-25%). Study 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 group than individual one, except technical problems being faced. Message on Kisan Rail could also sensitize and mobilize the farmers to avail 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 Mann Ki Baat programme was crucial in creating favourable environment among the farmers for enhancing awareness and their mobilization.