Sakal Papers have launched Agro Won, the first ever daily in India, devoted to Agriculture on 19th April 2005. Agro Won is 16 pages strong and is published in Marathi . Agro Won is printed in tabloid format.
Agro Won was launched by Sharad Pawar, Union Minister for Agriculture, and noted agricultural expert N. D. Mahanor was the Chief Guest. Balasaheb Thorat, Maharashtra Minister for Agriculture, was also present as a Special Guest. Sharad Pawar in his inaugural speech said that Agro Won would generate confidence among the farmers and facilitate them with information to go global.
Talking to exchange4media, Abhijit Pawar of Sakal said that Agro Won will “contribute positively to the development of farmers. The daily would acquire the form of a movement and support farmers in their initiatives”. He further said that farmers were a very important part of Sakal's constituency and an important part of the state’s economy; hence Agro Won would cater to their micro information needs.
Asked on the concept behind the tabloid, Pawar said, “We began working on this idea almost a year ago, when Metric Consultants suggested it. We thought that it made absolute sense, as a social responsibility, for our newspaper group, especially from the farmers’ perspective, as not enough coverage is given to their relevance in daily newspapers. Secondly, we believed, the advertisers would also be interested in an ever expanding but focused niche audience of rural and semi-urban farmers with high purchasing capacity and therefore would certainly welcome the idea as a great advertising vehicle.”
He further added, “To confirm our gut feel, an extensive survey was carried out, in the State of Maharashtra, in which the need for such a newspaper was confirmed. Besides, this some advertisers along with agencies were also surveyed and their feedback was also very encouraging. This is how the name Agrowon and the size were chosen.”
Editorially, the salient features of Agro Won include latest news and views about agriculture, political news affecting the socio-economic life of farmers, national, international and state level developments, success stories of farmers, research and developments and new projects, information on processing of agri-produce, market rates and trends, weather forecasting and guidance.
Apart from this various schemes of the Central and State governments, science and technology related to agriculture, export of agricultural produce, and export procedures and facilities are also part of Agro Won's editorial content. In addition to these agricultural focused content, Agro Won will also cater to the needs of family members of farmers and provide infotainment.
When asked about the promotional strategies, Pawar said, “The best medium has been Sakal, and it created the impact and awareness in the market. Also, the word of mouth has been extremely strong. Prior to launching Agro Won, we had conducted surveys, meetings with farmers, and participated in agro exhibitions, etc. In fact, we will now start concentrating on advertising agencies and advertisers, as now they will be able to check the response for themselves as well as see the product. We are also focusing on direct marketing. We also plan to organize various events useful to farmers and related community.”