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Keywords

Agriculture, Agro-Climatic Zones, Food Safety and Quality, CSR, Externality, IMD, India, ISRO, Marginal Social Benefit, Marginal Private Benefit, Media firms, Public Good, Television, TV, Weather Channel

Abstract

Until a few decades ago, Doordarshan was the only channel which would broadcast TV programmes in black-&-white and that too for a few hours. It was a pure public good then, offered free of cost by the government. Today, however, from Aastha to Zee there are hundreds of dedicated private channels competing to offer news, sports, entertainment, and spirituality for a price. And still, there is not a single channel which is dedicated to 24-hour weather forecast. This is a clear case of market failure of the free enterprise system. The missing market for an exclusive weather channel is the result of perceived marginal private benefit to millions of individual farmers and other stakeholders being much less than the marginal social benefit accruing to the nation as a whole. Every year unanticipated weather patterns cause huge economic losses to food and agriculture and other industries and cause a great number of fatalities too. If IMD gives quick alerts to pilots and airports, and some private forecasters plan to give medium to long-term forecast to cricketing and other events, the same can be done for millions of farmers and other stakeholders of the economy. Therefore, government and the corporate sector may offer a 24-hour TV channel for weather forecast in the form of public private partnership (PPP). The weather forecasting infrastructure and data may come from 1 Professor and graduate student; respectively, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA) government institutions such as IMD, C-DAC, and ISRO; professional content delivery and services of weathermen who deliver the content may come from TV media firms; and the break- even revenue may come through CSR activities of the corporate sector.

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