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Farm crisis everyone's concern
We are in the era of information revolution, but farmers who are the base of our society do not have access to basic information, said senior development journalist Nagesh Hegde. He was addressing the gathering after inaugurating a workshop on 'farm journalism and challenges' in Bangalore.

In this information era, news from the corporate sector is flooding media. At the same time farm and rural sector is completely neglected. Farming community is struggling without having access to need based information, he lamented. None of the newspapers in Kannada have a reporter completely devoted to farm section. As a result we do not see in-depth, analytical reports published in the dailies. News items with commercial interest dominate those that are related to common reader.

He expressed concern over the trend of bio-fuel crops replacing food crops at an alarming rate. Changed preferences have forced forestry to cater to the needs of industry than supporting agriculture and maintaining ecological balance. At the same time area under agriculture is shrinking due to various reasons. At one end, villagers are migrating to cities in large numbers while on the other side corporate sector is trying to take control over farm sector. Amidst all these, instances of farmers' suicides is persistent.

He felt that crisis of the farming sector should be considered as democracy's setback and we should work towards sustainable development in the farming sector. The workshop was organized by Bangalore based Institute of Agricultural Technologists (IAT) in association with Centre for Agricultural Media, Dharwad.

Chief Guest at the inaugural function, Former vice chancellor of University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, R. Dwarakinath said that serious efforts are necessary to solve problems related to farming sector. Media should play a constructive role in the process.

President of IAT, Dr. A. Rajanna who presided over the function said that society can sustain only if farm sector sustains. Considering this we should give priority to protect the interests of farmers. There are criticisms about the subsidy given to farmers. Without such subsidies, prices of farm produces would go high, and critics are not aware of this, he said.

Twelve personalities who have contributed significantly to farm journalism including Shree Padre, Dr. G.N.S. Reddy, K. Gunashekhar, G.R. Gundappa, V. Gayathri, Dr. T.N. Prakash Kammaradi, M.T. Shatimoole, Sudarshana, Radhakrishna were honoured on the occasion.

State Organic Farming Mission's President Dr. A.S. Ananda, Karnataka Media Academy's President D.P. Parameshwara, IAT Secretary G. Raghunath and other senior journalists and officials were present on the occasion.
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  © Centre for Agricultural Media