“Hridoye Mati O Manush” turns five | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 21, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 21, 2008

“Hridoye Mati O Manush” turns five

Call for an agricultural revolution

Shykh Seraj in one of the episodes of Hridoye Mati O Manush

Hridoye Mati O Manush needs no introduction to the Bangladeshi TV audience. Hosted by media personality and agricultural activist Shykh Seraj, (Director, News, Channel i), the programme started initially on BTV as Mati O Manush in 1982, and later continued on Channel i from February 21, 2004.
The informative programme is an initiative to encourage the farmers and developments in the agricultural sector. It covers all aspects of agriculture, its problems and possibilities and ways of improving the farmers' livelihood.
According to Seraj, “My target-audience initially consisted of farmers and I advised them on ways to improve their agricultural activities. In time the viewership has not been limited to just the farmers, now traders and investors take interest in the show as well. Which is why I have shifted my emphasis to all aspects of agriculture.”
To keep the countrymen abreast of agricultural developments at an international level, Seraj has already filmed several episodes of Hridoye Mati O Manush in countries such as the Philippines, Thailand and China.
In the first three years, the programme introduced farmers to new methods like 'crop diversification' and 'composite farming'. It also informed them on the simpler ways of production, transportation and marketing and how to avoid dealing with the unnecessary middlemen. Meetings were also held with the farmers before the national annual budget each year. Farmers were shown documentaries on 'handling food safely', 'fertiliser shortage', 'Asian farming methods', and 'the agricultural views of Rabindranath Tagore'.
“Some of the topics covered in the fourth year were 'potato production'; 'the past, present and future of the dairy industry'; 'the salt industry'; 'jute production and industry'; a follow-up on 'the use of urea and other harmful chemicals in puffed rice'; 'casaba farming in the Monga-prone areas'; 'shrimp farming in Khulna'; 'unavailability of safe fertilisers'; 'the erosion of river banks and the tribulations of the affected people'; 'bird flu awareness' and special coverage of the Bengal Meat Industry of Pabna and the farmers market of Bogra,” says Seraj.
Seraj adds, “Some of our recent agricultural advancements are 'the reduction in the use of urea and the introduction of gutti urea'; 'the introduction of hybrid rice'; 'the successful farming of baokul', and 'the farmers market of BDR and the local government'.”
Shykh Seraj has received the Ekushey Padak along with three other National Awards -- National Youth Award, Fisheries Award and Poultry Award. He was awarded USA Ashoka Fellow in 1993. In recognition of his contribution to the agricultural sector, Young Asia Television of Sri Lanka produced a documentary on him.
A new programme, Krishi Deebanishi, also hosted by Seraj, is currently on air on Channel i, as an extension of Hridoye Mati O Manush.
Hridoye Mati O Manush will be aired tonight (February 21) at 9:30 pm.

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