Both public and private universities, which offer academic programmes on journalism, mass communications and agricultural education, need to incorporate specialised courses on agriculture journalism and agriculture communications into the disciplines.
Panellists at a roundtable in the capital yesterday came up with the observation.
SoMaSHTe with the support from agriculture development project Katalyst organized the event roundtable ‘Pro-poor Agriculture: The Role of Media and Academia’ at Dhaka University Senate Bhaban on 19 April 2014.
The discussants also urged the media to print and broadcast agricultural issues more frequently with greater importance.
Despite being the mainstay of Bangladesh’s economy, agriculture is yet to get prominence it deserves in the media and academic discourse, they noted.
Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu and Dhaka University Vice Chancellor Prof Dr AAMS Arefin Siddique addressed the roundtable as chief and special guests respectively, while Prof Dr M Golam Rahman moderated it.
Channel-i Director (News) and agriculture journalism pioneer Shykh Seraj presented a keynote, while a good number of media professionals, academicians and agriculturalists took part in the discussion.
In his speech, the information minister put emphasis on introducing agriculture journalism curriculum at university-level education and putting agriculture news on main segments of televisions’ news bulletins.
Arefin Siddique stressed introducing an education system where students would know about their environment, ecology, nature and agriculture from the very childhood.
Their upbringing will not remain confined to classroom education only, said the DU VC.
In his keynote, Shykh Seraj, proposed introducing dedicated TV and radio channels for farm broadcast.
Pro-VC of Sher-e-Bangla Agriculture University, Prof Dr Md Shahidur Rashid Bhuiyan; Adviser of ATN Bangla, Nawzish Ali Khan; Associate Editor of the daily Shamokal Ajoy Dasgupta; DU journalism faculties Fahmidul Haq, Saiful Alam Chowdhury, Sabrina Sultana Chowdhury; Katalyst’s Head of government relations Emdadul Haq, agriculturalist Dr Jahangir Alam, SoMaSHTe Director Mir Masrur Zaman , among others, spoke.