Why? People don’t want to read anything about agriculture!
Such is the current public interest in agriculture!
Farmers’ news has come to mean only farmers’ suicides and other distress news only. Why this state of affairs? We wonder!
Vadamalai Media is an agriculture media company engaged in its priority goal of highlighting agriculture and rural India issues and we have been in this field for the past quarter century and more. We have been publishing not just in English but also the regional languages too. Our Tamil agriculture monthly is there for long and it is a highly popular and well-sought after publication in Tamil and also in Kannada language as well.
For those engaged in Tamil journalism, in the daily newspaper and also the more weekly glossies, rather in cheap newsprint, we are talking here more as a journalist fraternity, we like to share our experience that high quality magazines in Tamil, covering as we do on all topics of great public interest, also in some very specialist niche segments like promoting of Tamil language growth, why even in such abstract areas like the current philosophical and other fields like original thinking in new intellectual debates, we do write and try our hand in writing in Tamil where this sort of experiment has not been done, our success must be an eye-opener.
So too in agriculture. Many in the past had tried their hands in English language brining our annuals publications and also others who tried in agri/rural journalism they have failed, this is not a happy expression but failure is the blunt reality!
Of course, the very thin audience is a problem. But then even those who have launched broadsheet format they are visibly struggling for a market share.
Why, even the once glossy journalism in weekly magazines soon after the 1975 Emergency was lifted, they are all now suffering after the advent of the Internet.
Anyway, why we say all the things is just to encourage ourselves not to give up hope!
Yes, there is a need to have a media to cover the what is perhaps the largest segment of the Indian economy, the agri sector, and the rural sector. Of course every media expert would analyse this challenge to media existence in such niche segment.
Yes, we have learnt a login the sales and marketing and distribution side. Even the once mighty glossy weekly now writes and sends individual copies to prominent potential subscriber asking for a subscription!
So, we should feel shy of sharing this rather embarrassing details.
All this we say to show how much more challenges we face as a standalone media house.
Vadamalai Media now has achieved a brand status and those who search for serious writing in some serious fields, as we have pointed out be it politics or some public policies where some sensitive issues are involved like say in the issue of freedoms, privacy etc, where do the Indian readers to look for?
We dare say we are the one media who dare not discard any serious questions of policy. Anyway, now here in this issue we have carried for the benefit of readers, the general readers as well as specialist ones interested in agricultural reforms, there are great many examples of what can be done positively in agriculture sector.
The story we carry in this issue is about what is a great agricultural country, small in geographical size but ranked in the first place in transforming the favourable geography and climate, namely Netherlands.
Some of its achievements are unbelievable. It is the number two count try, after the USA, in the export vegetable seeds and vegetables and other services.
The point we want to convey to the agri policy makers in the country is to see what Netherlands is achieving. We often talk of Israel or even New Zealand is doing in agriculture and dairying.
Every country is unique in its own way. Even we can learn from some of the African countries.
Surely, India has to change in the agri sector in some radical ways.
For one thing, we have been long obsessed with the abstract politics like Socialism and Communism. May be it was a mistake to adopt the Soviet Russian model of economic development. May be not. But then it is a serious mistake, we say, right now, the ruling dispensation is simply not having grip on the agri sector.
You see agriculture affects so many people at various levels. So, one solution doesn’t fit for all, for all regions, for all income groups in agriculture sector. So, why not take up the Netherlands model of free house cultivation on a large scale?
Then you can also take up the Israeli experiences in some other areas.
Of course, there are examples of failures, as when Chandrababu Naidu took up the Israeli model and failed miserably.
Even such expression is wrong, we admit. So, one failure doesn’t mean the other experiment would also a failure. Some daring decision to learn from successful experiences, from agriculturally endowed countries we have to go for.
This month’s cover story is one such attempt to give the much suffered Indian farming community a best shot, so to say.
Only those who dare and act has the chance of success. Success seldom goes to the timid.
Given the Prime Minister’s darings to take bold decisions, urge the PM to turn his attention to Netherlands’ agriculture.