Seven years ago, Surashettikoppa, a small village in Kalaghatagi taluk of Dharwad district was in the news by organising a 'Friendship Fair'. This innovative fair provided a forum for people from surrounding villages to come together, enjoy themselves, and share their joys and sorrows.
The same village will witness another unique event, 'Farm Book Fest' on December 18. The Centre for Alternative Agricultural Media has organised Krishi Pusthaka Habba (Farm Book Fest) on the occasion of its fifth anniversary.
Three agriculture related books in Kannada will be released on the day, along with an exhibition of books on farming and rural development. The programme will be held at 'Gram Chethana', under the auspices of Bharatiya Agro Industries Foundation Institute for Rural Development, Karnataka and Sarvodaya Mahasangha, Surashettikoppa.
Farm-related books titled Nettiragi, Savayava Chittara and Shathashringada Saalinalli..., authored by development journalists Mallikarjuna Hosapalya, Ganadhalu Srikantha and Anandatheertha Pyati, respectively, will be released by S G Siddaramaiah, chairman, Kannada Book Authority, Bangalore.
The publication of Masanobu Fukuoka's book, One Straw Revolution, in Kannada (by Santhosh Koulagi) in 1988 created a new wave in the farming sector in Karnataka, resulting in many such experiments in natural farming.
Recently, a book by Swami Anand, based on the natural farming experiences of Subhash Palekar has attracted farmers in a big way. These instances show the usefulness of farm books.
Several books like Sakalarigu Samriddhi, Beeja Sampada, Hasiru Hejje, Hasira Mathu published this year, have given new hopes in the area of farm publication. Another three books will be added to the list through Farm Book Fest.
CAAM annual awards for farm journalism will be presented during the programme. The centre has instituted the award in two categories to encourage farmer friendly journalism in Kannada.
In practising farmer category, Subrahmanya M Hegde's article titled Adike Thota - Beruhulagala Kaatadinda Rakshane (Methods to protect areca farms from rootgrub disease), published in Sujatha Sanchike, has been selected for the award.
In the general category, V Gayathri's exhaustive feature Savayava Besaayadalli Raitare Namma Gurugalu (Farmers are the teachers in organic farming) has bagged the award. The feature was published in Sahaja Saaguvali. The awards carry a cash prize of Rs 2,000 each besides a citation.
Successful candidates of the second batch of CAAM's farm journalism diploma course will be honoured as CAAM Fellows on the occasion. They are, H K Basavaraju, Shailaja Bellankimath, Pushpa M Kammar, Siddaramegowda, Ravishankar H G and K Kumar.