Farmer’s access to ICT could revolutionize agricultural production
Rawalpindi: the use of information and communication technology (ICT) in the agriculture sector could help enhance agricultural production, speakers said at seminar on Thursday.
Speaking at the Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUR), they emphasized the need to adopt ICT to spread information on agriculture to the farming community, which could have a huge impact on Pakistan’s agriculture sector. The seminar aimed to promote the Ba-Khabar Kissan project, an ICT application that would be accessible to every farmer in the country through telecommunications.
The project involves a mobile phone application that will give farmers access to modern farming techniques, disease cures, information on the livestock to be used for specific crops, weather information, soil testing, crop insurance, the application of fertilizers and pesticides, horticultural practices and any other information required to increase yield and profitability. The university’s vice chancellor, Prof Dr. Rai Niaz Ahmad, was invited to the seminar as the chief guest, and was accompanied by Switch Communication CEO Abrar Khan and deans, directors, faculty and students from the University.
Dr Ahmad said the farming community needs access to ICT and the adoption of ICT and telecommunications value added services by rural communities could revolutionize agricultural production. He said the application would also help farmers make decisions, and said information should be available in multiple languages to make it easier to understand and disseminate information.
Switch Communications, Mr. Khan informed the gathering about the project, and said the objective of the service was to create opportunities for farmers which would allow them to learn how to improve their yielded. A memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was also signed between PMAS-AAUUR and Switch Communication, under which both parties will collaborate in information sharing regarding modern and practical agricultural practices andr elated information. Information provided by the university will be disseminated at a mass scale among farmers, in a joint venture by both parties using Mobilink’s telecommunications platform.
The MoU was signed by Dr. Ahmad and Mr. Khan on behalf of their respective organizations.