Primetime Farming in Turkey
“Rejuvenate your salinized field: 10 profitable salt-resistant crops”
Does this sound like television-worthy content? Many would say no. But across Turkey, there are four television stations broadcasting news bulletins, talk shows and documentaries on agriculture-related topics round-the-clock. Three of them are privately-owned; earning enough advertising revenue to have stayed afloat for almost a decade.
In his latest post on TheWaterBlog (Primetime Farming in Turkey), water management student Sukru Esin recounts how he’s seen agri-tv networks make a start-- and make a mark-- in rural Turkey.
Agricultural programming has been tried out in India too. The state-owned broadcaster has been airing a television program called ‘Krishi Darshan’ (Hindi: Farm Visit) since 1967. However, the idea has not found any traction beyond government support. None of the numerous commercial cable/satellite channels have even tried out farming-related programming, despite the considerable penetration of television in rural India.
The India story and its contrast with Turkey applies to many other countries. What accounts for the difference? What would make farmers a viable target audience for mass media? What would make them an attractive market segment to advertisers? And what does that say about their place in the society?
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