ICRISAT is embarking on a unique partnership – a first I expect for the CGIAR. We are joining hands with Ramoji Group, owners of the largest film studio in the world, 12 television stations, India’s largest regional language newspaper, and many other media outlets.
Ramoji Group plans to create the first ever 24-hour TV station in the world that is dedicated to farmers and interactive with farmers. They are also planning an ‘edutainment’ park dedicated to agriculture at Ramoji Film City, located not far from ICRISAT’s doorstep, in Anajpur village, Hayathnagar Mandal in Hyderabad.
This week I had a very inspiring meeting with Mr Ramoji Rao. He has achieved success in the media and entertainment industry having broken away from his family’s tradition of farming for many generations. So he feels a personal need to reach out to farmers and help. “It is a dream at the moment for farming to be profitable and this needs to be our vision,” he said
ICRISAT is excited that Ramoji has selected us as a partner to help guide content for these new ventures and to reach out to both the farmers and the general public about agriculture and nutrition. This is also an opportunity to excite youth about agriculture, engage women and generally help with better adoption of proven technologies that can make farming more profitable.
Mr Ramoji is keen that the initiative does not focus on the history of agriculture, but rather on the future of agriculture and to help farmers become prosperous. At the agro-park people will have an opportunity to be a farmer for the day, see the latest technologies and farms of the future. They will be inspired and entertained, and farmers will have a wealth of information and ideas presented to them.
I just can’t wait for this new venture to unfold. It could be a game changer in how we communicate and capture people’s attention on agriculture and food.