Devinder Sharma on the state of agriculture journalism in India

Agriculture economist and writer Devinder Sharma spoke to Kunal Bhatnagar

In present times, agricultural journalism is not taken seriously, neither the youth seem to have an interest in it. When I started journalism, I worked with scientists to develop agricultural technology. Once I met a farmer who appreciated my work but said that my work is not helpful to them practically.

Any salesman can tell them the technological specifications of a tractor but they don’t know how to identify superior quality seeds which gives them a higher yield and protect their crops from pests.

According to a survey, by 2022, 4 million rural people will migrate to the cities. This is a serious issue and the government is not paying attention to it. According to the economic survey, the annual salary of farmers is Rs. 20,ooo in 17 states. There is a lot of noise around the loan waiver for farmers but corporate sector loan waiver is quietly brushed under the carpet which is something to think about.

There are 400 farmers in prison in Punjab because they couldn’t pay their loans . Even the news channels are not playing their part as there are no discussions on TV related to agriculture. He concluded with”Why not cut down all the trees and build factories to increase the GDP.

Text: Kunal Bhatnagar |Desk edit: Rupali Soni| Photo: Dhanraj Chauhan | Photo desk: Anu Sonia |Editorial coordination: Jyoti Mamnani

This report was filed during Live Newsroom workshop conducted by Institute of Integrated Digital Journalism and Mass Communication (IIDJM) at Talk Journalism 2018.