Community radio run by farmers' federation in India


Vayalaga Vanoli is a community radio run by a federation of 4'500 farmersin Madurai District fo India. The radio staff collect ideas, suggestions and requests directly from farmers in the field and broadcast daily programmes on agriculture, animal husbandry, health, women and education.




Community radio run by farmers'federation




Madurai District Tank Farmers Federation (MDTFF)




In 2006, when the Indian government allowed NGOs and educational institutions to run community radio stations, Madurai District Tank Farmers Federation (MDTFF) successfully applied for a license. In 2011 it was assigned the frequency 90.4 MHz and started broadcasting from Kottampatti Village of Madurai District, Tamil Nadu, with a radius of 15 km. 

The FM airs 9 hours of recorded programmes and 3 hours of live programmes covering agriculture-related tips, news, information on health, education, social affairs, weather reports, local employment opportunities, births, deaths and special events. It also entertains villagers with cultural and music programmes.


The community radio programmes are need-based: radio staff visit every village and enquire farmers about what they would like to be discussed. "It could be anything from tips on coconut, oil seeds and horticulture crops to cattle and poultry-related issues. We arrange live programmes accordingly” says B. Muthukumaraswamy, the station master. 

Four male and two female radio jockeys report from the field or broadcast the programmes from the studio. The station also makes use of local volunteers, while the information kiosk is in charge of community resource identification, programme recording and phone-in live programmes.

The MDTFF executive committee, made up of 15 experienced member farmers, meets once a month to discuss and review the radio programmes.


Vayalaga Vanoli reaches over 5'000 farmers of 100 villages in 27 panchayats. The station’s programming includes agriculture and farming-related tips, women specific programmes, health programmes, educational topics, the weather report, mobile offers, local employment information, birthday wishes, community songs and announcements of special events. 


Community Radio Vayalaga Vanoli has succeded in:

  • Using information and communication as a tool for development
  • Building local knowledge on droughts and floods and generating coping strategies out of community expertise
  • Facilitating knowledge sharing in agriculture based on practices
  • Raising awareness on education, health, gender, rights, agriculture, traditional knowledges, information and communication technology for development 
  • Providing a space for community participation and debate
  • Identifying and showcasing local talents


Vayalaga Vanoli 90.4MHz
Madurai District Tank Farmer Federation
W5/545, MDCC Bank Upstairs
Madurai - Trichy Main Road
Kottampatti, Madurai - 625 103
PH - 04544 230485, 91 9944828346




Photo credit: Vayalaga Vanoli