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World Television Day: 21 November

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Today (Tuesday, November 21, 2017) the world marks the ‘World Television Day’ which was proclaimed in 1996 by the United Nations General Assembly,

“in recognition of the increasing impact television has on decision-making by alerting world attention to conflicts and threats to peace and security and its potential role in sharpening the focus on other major issues, including economic and social issues.” A/RES/51/205 pg.1

In choosing November 21, the United Nations General Assembly coincided the date to the first World Television Forum was held where leading media organisations and specialists met under the auspices of the United Nations to discuss the growing significance of television to developmental work. – A/RES/51/205 pg.2

Televisions has been powerful in shaping peoples’ lives, cultures and also as an information dissemination tool. However, the celebration are not about the tool itself but the “philosophy which it represents’ (UN, 2017). The UN itself has a TV station called the UN Web TV (also known as UNTV) which is a channel available 24 hours a day, and it broadcast live and recorded meetings of various UN agencies including the General and the Security Council.

TV and Agriculture

In many countries, while they might not exist a dedicated agro-TV station, there are many channels which showcase agricultural activities. The most popular TV channels dedicated to agriculture include, the Agriculture Television Network, a producer and provider of original programming dedicated to agriculture. The most known channels and programs in agriculture are Ating Alamin (Philippines); Country Calender (New Zealand); Green TV India;  and Krishi Darshan. One study concluded that television still maintains a role in disseminating agricultural information among farmers (Chhachhar, Hassan, Omar and Soomro, 2012).

AccessAgriculture, has  catalogued a number of TV stations that are focusing on agriculture. In their page they provide also a list of TV stations in agriculture in English, French or local language mostly from Africa. See the list here.

They also publish a guide for good programming and production of content by local TV stations. Besides these guidelines, AccessAgriculture has access to a number of agricultural videos in many categories such as horticulture, crop farming, animal husbandry, mechanization and various farming methods.

Case study: TV show empowers farmers in Kenya

How TV can be used to empower farmers was demonstrated by the Shamba Shape-Up, East African TV Show that was targeted at smallholder farmers. This is designed as a ‘make-over’ style reality show for rural and peri-urban audiences which targeted 10 million farmers in East Africa. The TV show is aired in 3 countries and has benefitted 428,000 households and about 46% of the viewers claim to have learnt something knew from watching the show. 

Commenting about this TV station, David Campbell, of the Mediae Company was once quoted to have said,

We show the products…and explain their advantages via numbers, either very simply or with a full calculation. We look for women farmers and try to address issues where women can earn more money and draw them into the program.” Bruce Campbell

Video credit: CGIAR/africaknowledgezone

Learn more about this TV show

References consulted 

  1. UN Web TV
  2. UN. World Televison Day November 21
  3. United Nations General Assembly Session 51. Resolution 205. Proclamation of 21 November as World Television Day A/RES/51/205 17 December 1996
  4. Chhachhar, Hassan, Omar and Soomro, 2012. The Role of Television in Dissemination of Agriculture Information among Farmers. Journal of Applied Environment Biology and Science. 2 (11):586 - 591