Technology empowers farmers to transform the country’s agricultural landscape: Ahsan Iqbal

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ISLAMABAD: Planning and Development Minister Ahsan Iqbal said on Wednesday that technology and innovation will enable farmers to become more skilled and competitive, transforming the country’s agricultural landscape.

Addressing an event to unveil a report, ‘AgriTech: Crafting Pakistan’s Journey to Impact’ jointly launched by Telenor Pakistan, Tabadlab and GSMA, he said: “In this era, technology and innovation are the game changers. the most important ones that are redefining the dynamics of the agricultural sector”.

This report, he said, would enable Pakistani farmers to break down barriers and revolutionize the agricultural sector.

Ahsan Iqbal said Telenor Pakistan was a key player in bringing innovation and digital learning from Norway, and “I look forward to its talented workforce playing a pivotal role in a brighter Pakistan. “.

The report identifies current industry challenges and assesses the impact AgriTech will have on accelerating growth. The authors find that the adoption of modern agricultural techniques and targeted AgriTech interventions can boost domestic production and improve socio-economic outcomes.

The AgriTech report combines studies and insights from the GSMA and Tabadlab’s Digital Transformation Center to chart the ideal path for Pakistan’s agriculture sector. It sheds light on how technology and digitalization are boosting agricultural yields in the country.

The report highlights the importance of aligning public and private sector approaches to agritech for increased adoption. Furthermore, the report shows how agritech operates at the intersection of technological and agricultural ecosystems, making it essential to understand and analyze the drivers and trends of digital technologies as a means of unpacking agritech in Pakistan.

CEO of Telenor Pakistan, Irfan Wahab Khan, said: “The report presents the model of a better performing agricultural sector that can lead to higher returns for farmers and impact up to $10 billion in the GDP of the country. country. We know there is a drive to go digital, thanks to Khushaal Zamindaar’s immense success in guiding farmers with data-driven agricultural best practices.

He said there was also an opportunity for agritech services to become entry points for farmers to be financially included, given that they currently represent less than 30%, so the next step should be d further improve Agritech adoption across the county and strengthen an industry that employed 40% of the national workforce.

Umar Nadeem, founding partner of Tabadlab, said: “To meet the needs of the agricultural sector, Agritech services must grow. Despite positive trends, there are significant opportunities for the ecosystem to grow and support existing and new entrants. The private sector has been a crucial player in expanding Pakistan’s AgriTech footprint and integrating technology into the daily life of the farmer, but to successfully address the challenges of the agricultural value chain through technology, private agricultural solutions must be cultivated through increased capital, government support and cycles of innovation.

Agriculture is a crucial sector for the Pakistani economy as a major employer of labor, with around 25 million Pakistanis making their living from it.

However, the country’s crop yields are below comparable international benchmarks, despite a quarter of Pakistan’s landmass being cultivated and used for agricultural production. This offered the right opportunity to focus on the digital transformation of the sector through connectivity, data, artificial intelligence (AI), IoT and innovation.

Agritech has the potential to produce efficient farming mechanisms while improving livelihoods and giving farmers greater control over their yields.

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