Meet these “farm influencers” whose YouTube videos help millions of farmers solve everyday farming problems

‘Farm influencers’ whose YouTube videos help millions of farmers

They are young, enthusiastic, outspoken and captivated by the internet, smartphones, drones, agriculture and ‘jugaad.’ They are the latest YouTube sensation, with 182 lakh (18.2 million) subscribers for their Indian Farmer channel in three years since June 2018.

The duo, both in their twenties, are from Vita, a small town in Maharashtra Sangli neighborhood, where to get a Wireless connection was a major problem until a few years ago.

“We have 7 lakh followers on Facebook and nearly 100,000 followers on Instagram,” says 26-year-old Akash Jadhav.

Santosh Jadhav, The 27-year-old and his friend enthused, “So far we have over 1,000 videos ranging in length from four to 30 minutes, as well as many 20-second videos. ICT Tac videos in our library.”

When they state these numbers, they are neither boastful nor arrogant. “We still have a long way to go. India has 70 to 80 crore farmers, and we have barely reached less than two crores,” adds Akash.

So what are their videos, you might be wondering?

They influence farmers on innovative farming practices, irrigation, weed control, use of pesticides, proper way to use fertilizers, acquisition of high quality seedscrop rotationthe right sales approach and other important issues for farmers.

There is no age limit for their subscribers. Farmers across India, age range ranging from 18 to 50, log on to Indian Farmer every Tuesday and Friday at 6pm for new foods. The reason for their success is Santosh’s simple method of speaking simple Hindi with that broad smile, which makes every viewer feel like they’re speaking directly to them. There are no sermons, no condescending voices, just ordinary farm talk.

Another advantage is that they are neither studio speakers nor armchair talkers. They shoot on actual farms, often on Santosh’s 11-acre ancestral farmland, where they grow sugar cane, mango, pomegranate, and vegetables like bell pepper, tomato, and more. They have first-hand knowledge of the problems that afflict the farming community. As a result, it’s easier for them to view and discuss the challenges, making the show more engaging for their audience to grasp and learn from.

Akash does extensive research on the web. He describes himself as a Google prodigy and playfully says: “If I ever write a book, the dedication page will say ‘Dedicated to Google!’ He is the one who discovers farmers who are experimenting with new or alternative agricultural practices, contacts them and, after obtaining an appointment, goes to the farm to shoot.

The duo travels the country. They recently returned from Himachal Pradesh and Punjab.

“We recently returned from Himachal Pradesh, near Shimla, to find out how Sangharsh Sankta’s apple growing methods are. It practices high-density agriculture. Other farmers plant 200 to 300 trees per acre of land, but he plants 700 to 800 trees, trims the trees regularly to keep them from reaching full size, and provides bamboo support for the branches so the trees can withstand the fruit weight. The fruit yield is very high without compromising taste or quality,” says Akash.

After filming at the apple orchard, they traveled to Bhatinda, Punjab to meet Pargat Singh, rice and cotton farmer. stubble burning is a big problem in Punjab, and unfortunately after the rice harvest and cotonquoi Leftovers are a large amount of waste that most farmers resort to burning, which creates widespread pollution. “It’s particularly difficult in the north during the winter. However, Pargat implements sustainable farming techniques and reuses the stubble rather than burning it,” Santosh recalls.

the Jadhavs discovered a very strong group of farmers in Punjab.“They are powerful because they are knowledgeable, united and numerous. If farmers in every state unite like them, their lot will undoubtedly improve. Majority of farming communities in India lack technological skills and ignore So the guys in supply chain or product management. They’re building on what their family has been doing for generations. They don’t know how to experiment with new crops. As a result, they end up investing a lot of money and having to struggling to earn a living. Through our channel, we hope to address this shortcoming and turn farmers into successful business people,” says Akash.

“We appreciate the ‘jugaad’ section of our channel.” We Indians are well known for jugaad. Every farmer, rich or poor, develops a strategy to maximize the advantage of the resources available on his farm. We get maximum viewership for this section where we show what a farmer can do without having to spend a lot,” says Santosh.

Establish “agricultural influencers”

The best thing about these boys is that although they are from the interior of Maharashtra where Marathi is the main language, Santosh spent a few years in Prayag Raj and speaks flawless Hindi which makes them helps to reach more people.

Their story began in elementary school, when Akash resided in Vita and Santosh lived in Karve, a community of about nine years. kilometers far. Akash rode his bike to school, while Santosh rode the bus.

“We always looked down on kids who took the bus to school,” Akash says.

Santosh remembers that he was always a backbencher, while Akash was always ready to answer any questions their teacher had. Corn somehow they became friends and this friendship continues till today even though after class 12 Akash went to Kolhapur to complete his bachelor degree in mechanical engineering and Santosh dropped out. Because Akash was aware of the precarious situation of farmers in the country, he decided to start something to help the farming community.

He had learned how to create short videos, publish them and try to get them to the Google search engine via YouTube. All he had to do was convince Santosh and their parents. This took time because the concept required considerable investment. However, once they got support from their parents, there was no turning back.

Initially they just had a smartphone, but Akash, the channel’s tech brain, says they now have the latest iPhone, an old Canon 200D camera, a DJI mini drone, good microphones, two MacBooks for work daily, two PCs for editing and a crew of four.

“If we have a bigger project to shoot, we rent a camera for around Rs 3,000-5,000 per day,” Akash adds.

According to them, their monthly income fluctuates between Rs.50000 – Rs.1 lakh. They invested a lot of money in their cause and reinvested a large portion of their YouTube earnings. They are interested in making a profit, but for now they are having fun. They can travel, meet new people and even talk to agricultural experts and marketing assistants.

The icing on the cake was featured in YouTube Originals’ Creator Spotlight, which is the mini-documentary section of the global video giants. The section features short stories about YouTube creators pushing the boundaries.

“We hope to include other agricultural communities, such as poultry, fishing, goat farming, etc. in the near future. Today, the whole digital space is evolving and growing. There is also a bright future for new agricultural influencers in this space. It’s time to improve the condition of our farmers,” says Akash.

Raymond T. Helms