In an era where we are experiencing a digital and technological revolution and almost every sector of the economy has some sort of a digital presence, Punjab’s farmers are lagging far behind. Therefore, agricultural experts from the province have decided to create an online portal to help bridge the technological gap.
Through this portal, farmers would have access to modern guidelines, experts, and researcher. One of the experts said that Pakistan’s agricultural sector has enormous undiscovered potential and this exclusive portal would help them improve their yields.
The agriculture department has welcomed the proposal by the farmers and guaranteed its support.
The government would welcome any move that paves the way for the betterment of agriculture in the province, said an official. “Punjab Agriculture Department is ready to provide all possible assistance and guidance for the portal,” he added.
As claimed by Aamer Hayat Bhindara, a young farmer belonging to Southern Punjab who has been actively working for this cause, the farmers in the province constantly need updated information about the latest seeds, crops and research. “We constantly need information related to seeds, diseases and pests. The portal will provide similar information and guidance to farmers,” said Bhindara.
The agriculture sector has been hit by pandemic and the production of certain crops, especially cotton has gone down drastically, stated Bhindara. Pakistan exports cotton worth $12 billion annually, but the production has dropped by 45% during the last 12 months due to various reasons, including the pandemic, he added.
Agricultural experts are sure that the farmers would be able counter such challenges with access to modern techniques and ideas. Along with providing the agriculture sector with the latest information, this dedicated portal would also help in combatting the food security challenge that the country is currently facing as the farmers would be equipped with the right expertise to boost their yields.
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Currently, farmers are not satisfied with the information that is shared with them by the provincial department as they believe it’s insufficient and one-sided. A farmer claimed that although it is widely believed that the farmers are illiterate, this is not the case. He said that most families have at least one person who knows how to use a mobile phone and has access to the internet.
He said if the portal is user-friendly, then access would not be an issue. Videos in Urdu or other local languages would help the farmers, he added.