Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Farmers’ tales

It was one of those random little things that happen every day.
My friend over at First Discipline posted a link on FaceBook. The link led to a video on You Tube; a video of the Director of the Kerala Government’s Agriculture Department wishing farmers a happy Onam. Nothing unusual in that. What is unusual is the medium used — a video on You Tube!
Intrigued, I rummaged around and discovered the Kissan Kerala channel on You Tube. A trove of some 150 videos on things agricultural — from paddy cultivation in Kerala to rearing rabbits and pigeons, from organic prawn cultivation to creating roof-top gardens.
Now, Kissan Kerala is one of a clutch of e-Governance projects that have been commissioned by the Government of Kerala. As its name indicates, Kissan Kerala focuses on agriculture; more specifically it is designed to be an agriculture information system for Kerala.
I have not been able to go through all the videos on the Kissan Kerala channel, but from what I’ve seen they seem to be well produced. All appear to be informative and some are inspiring — like the one on the octogenarian lady farmer. And, most important, the videos all seem to be in Malayalam, which is Kerala’s language.
The channel’s been on You Tube for almost three years now and has got a shade under 600 subscribers, and the comments it has received mostly seem to be positive. According to You Tube’s stats, there have been some 155,575 ‘channel views’ and 881,361 ‘upload views’ — I guess that means a fair number of people have taken a look at the videos.
Overall, I’d say it’s been a pretty good show so far. One that has lessons for other government departments, but also one that can be improved so it reaches out to more people. A FaceBook page for Kissan Kerala, perhaps?
Picture used courtesy Kerala Tourism


Mee said...

Frm the little experience I have -this happens when they themselves are savvy about new media-or their team has someone who understands communications and knows how to exploit media. Either ways its good info:)

Sankar Radhakrishnan said...

@Mee: Very true. What's encouraging is that they've managed to keep doing it for two+ years; i hope they can keep it going. Kerala's government departments have been rather proactive about using technology; some with more dedication than others.

Mee said...

Yea true! Tat's why its the leading state on so many good 'firsts':)