In a milestone achievement, a think tank, Agriculture Republic, in partnership with the Internet Society Global has established Pakistan’s first-ever “Digital Dera” at the small town of Pakkpattan. The primary reason behind the initiative is to train about15,000 farmers of the region in digital farming practices by granting them access to latest technology and resources in the agriculture sector.
Pakistan’s First-Ever ‘Digital Dera’ Set up at Pakkpattan District
During the initial phase, two desktop PCs along with three tablets have been provided at the Dera. It is also equipped with a fast internet connection in an air-conditioned environment and powered by solar panels.
The growth of digital agriculture and its associated technologies has presented a bundle of new data opportunities and holds the potential to completely revamp agriculture for the better. As per the data from the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), by 2050 Internet of Things (IoT) can assist in boosting agricultural productivity by a mere 70 percent. Technologies including laser land leveling, solar-powered high-efficiency irrigation systems, smart water grids, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are now being widely utilized for agriculture.
Dr. Anjum Ali Buttar who is the Director-General Agriculture (Extension) Punjab was the chief guest at the inaugural ceremony. He said that the government was taking all necessary steps for launching climate-smart agricultural practices in the province. Furthermore, he added that changing weather and climate patterns demand the introduction of new crop varieties that are resistant to climate change.
Agriculture Republic co-founder Aamer Hayat Bhandara said,
The Digital Dera is an attempt to empower local farmers through internet connectivity and access to digital knowledge economy. It will also serve as a digital hub to organize awareness and capacity-building sessions to educate the youth and small farmers about transparency and accountability in agriculture, food security and climate change policies.
Mr. Bhandara further said that the facility will not be restricted to the residents of Chak 26-SP instead all the farmers from Pakpattan’s remote belt will have access to it to seek solutions for their farming challenges. They will also get a chance to learn about the latest agriculture technology and extension services provided by several members and actors of the Agriculture Republic community.