Sandesh Group, the publishers of Gujarat’s leading vernacular daily Sandesh, has come up with a new weekly newspaper called ‘Agro Sandesh’, dedicated to the agro and allied industries of Gujarat.
Falgun Patel, CMD of Sandesh, informed that Agro Sandesh would contribute positively to the development of Gujarat’s farmers. He affirmed, “The 24-page tabloid-size Gujarati weekly would acquire the form of a movement and support farmers in their initiatives. Farmers are a very important part of a country’s economy, hence Agro Sandesh would cater to their micro information needs and would generate confidence amongst them and facilitate them with information to go global.”
On the concept behind the tabloid, he said, “We began working on this idea almost six months ago. 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.”
“To confirm our gut feel, an extensive survey was carried out in Gujarat (at various agriculture exhibitions), 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,” he added.
Editorially, the salient features of Agro Sandesh include latest news and views about agriculture, dairy, animal husbandry and co-operative sector of Gujarat, 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 Sandesh’s editorial content.
When asked about the promotional strategies, Patel said, “The best medium has been our daily ‘Sandesh’. We have used it extensively to create the impact and awareness about Agro Sandesh in the market. Also, the word of mouth has been extremely good. Our first print order has been of 3 lakh copies and we are aiming to touch 5 lakh copies by the end of September 2011. Prior to launching Agro Sandesh, 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 bulk subscriptions and direct marketing. In the near future, we even plan to organise various events useful to farmers and related community.”