Agriculture sector: modern technologies critical to ensuring food security: US expert


US expert Arman Razaee from the University of California Davis USA on Tuesday called for promoting ICT, precision agriculture and improving vocational training to create the awareness among the masses about modern practices to ensure food security in Pakistan.

He was addressing a seminar at the University of Agriculture Faisalabad at New Senate Hall. The session was chaired by UAF Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan and organized by US Pakistan Center for Advanced Studies in Agriculture and Food Security.

He said that agriculture was contributing to 21 percent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Out of which, livestock agriculture accounts for 12 per cent of GDP in Pakistan. He said that modern technologies were inevitable to compete with the rest of the world.

He said that awareness among farming community about the modern trends would help address the problems. He said that artificial insemination was crucial to renewing livestock. But the market for AI suffers from the asymmetric information. He said that there is a room to improve agriculture health as well sector. He said that monitoring of health staff in Punjab has doubled thanks to the ICT and smart phones.

Professor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan said that the UAF had launched short message service for one million farmers meant for creating awareness regarding balanced usage of fertilizer. The step will reduce cost of production and increase productivity. He said that there are 25,000 villages in Punjab and if we connect the farming community with ICT to educate about latest agri practices that will boost up production. We are sending the message to at least 25,000 farmers in the each district.

He said that the Punjab government had launched a scheme of smart phone for the farming community. He lauded the steps being taken on the part of government for the uplift of agriculture sector. These government's initiatives enabled the farming community to reduce cost of production. USPCAS technical expert Dr Nancy Allen also spoke on the occasion.


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