Minister for Agriculture Punjab, Syed Hussain Jahanian Gardezi has said that the Smart IoT Farm will help the farmers to get modern agricultural technology to increase agricultural production during the inauguration of the Smart IoT Farm established at University Research Farm (URF), Koon of Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUR), here. The aim of establishing this Smart IoT Farm is to promote digital and precision agriculture at the National level so that the farmers will be aware of the needs of their crops in real-time.
Besides, the arid university Vice Chancellor Prof Dr. Qamaruz Zaman, Vice Chancellor University of Agriculture Faisalabad Prof. Dr. Iqrar Ahmad Khan, and PCSIR Chairman Dr. Syed Hussain Abidi were also present at the event. Punjab agriculture minister said;
“High losses are being faced and the establishment of this farm will be effective in bringing modern agricultural technology to the farmers,”
Minister Agriculture asked the vice-chancellors of the universities to facilitate the access of farmers to farms like this so that digital agriculture and precision agriculture can be popularized in Pakistan. The provincial minister further said that by promoting modern agricultural technology and digital agriculture, Pakistan can not only become self-sufficient in agricultural production but also realize the dream of exporting agricultural products
He appreciated and acknowledged the efforts of PMAS-AAUR Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Qamar-uz-Zaman & his team for establishing this farm and emphasized updating its data on the back end on a daily basis. He also congratulated the Vice-Chancellor for introducing modern digital and precision agriculture for the first time in PMAS-AAUR. The provincial minister also indicated the allocation of funds for precision agriculture. Later, the provincial minister inaugurated the Smart IoT Farm and also reviewed the use of smart spray, drone technology, GNSS land leveling system, auto-steering technology, automatic irrigation system, and other precision farming.
Prof. Dr. Qamar-uz-Zaman said that we need to immediately strengthen industry-academia ties to promote modern agricultural technology for which agriculture scientists will have to make every effort to solve the problems of farmers. Precision agriculture will not only increase per acre production but will also help to eliminate poverty and also ensure food security. While highlighting precision agriculture he said that it can play a dynamic role to tackle all the problems which are facing the farmers by providing a smart agriculture system to increase agriculture production.
The vice chancellor also appreciated the efforts of Prof. Dr. Jahanzeb Masud Cheema and Dr. Naveed Tahir for establishing Smart IoT Farm and hopes that this farm will contribute to uplifting the livelihood of small farmers. Prof. Dr. Iqrar Ahmad Khan stressed the need for adopting a more advanced approach to agriculture and said that modern technologies need to be promoted for precision agriculture and higher productivity. Dr. Syed Hussain Abidi and Dr. Abid Sulehri congratulated the PMAS-AAUR faculty and Vice Chancellor for establishing Smart IoT Farm which will allow agriculture production & business to be more profitable, efficient, safer, and environment friendly.
Before this step from the government, a private organization called SAWiE Ecosystems has also been operational in Pakistan that does the same thing i.e make IoT and smart devices for farming in Pakistan. The motto of the organization is;
“We aim to support Rural-Pakistan through innovation boosting the agricultural production as a result. We provide feasible solutions on food, agriculture, and natural resources using the latest and effective management and technology.”
Sawie provides information on irrigation scheduling to reduce water losses and the cost of unnecessary irrigations. It will issue warnings of any potential risk of droughts and flooding. Sawie machine learning algorithms are capable to predict optimum sowing dates based on the last 30 years of weather data and 20 days forecasts of a specific location based on solar radiation, soil moisture, and soil structure. Sawie also provides information about best-suited crops, varieties, and fertilizers as per the needs of a specific farm in a location and agroclimatic region.
“Sawie offers an unbiased & neutral Farm advisory based on scientific facts, proven good practices and data-driven approaches. Our products and services are capable to provide support to smallholder farmers in developing countries to address climate change crises. Our smart solutions offer crop mapping and variable input applications to large farms deploying precision agriculture. Sawie aims to provide real-time, accurate, reliable, and effective information to farmers at just the tip of their fingers. Sawie products fit well to address the climate change crisis to develop a resilient food system.”