Agriculture innovation offers immense potential to meet Pakistan’s food security needs considering the rapid expansion of the population and an increasing need to utilize the country’s natural resources, according to a survey report by a leading incubation center. A comprehensive report on the significance of tech-driven, sustainable and climate-friendly agriculture by the National Incubation Center said the agriculture sector has taken a major setback due to bad governance and policies in the past few decades. “It is now time to build political momentum in favor of uplifting Pakistan’s agro-economy. Youth-led innovative and disruptive agricultural startups involving use of artificial intelligence, data mining, internet of things, drone technologies and other ICT based solutions, have the potential to transform Pakistan’s conventional agricultural sector into a globally aligned and competitive one,” the report said. The country is facing various challenges related to

water security lack of crop health analysis, research and development, data, farmers education, absence of free market economy and climate change, according to the report the country’s leading tech incubation center formed in public-private partnership. While the government and private sector are taking multiple initiatives for the development of the sector, however, collaboration between all stakeholders is essential to bring about change. The government needs to actively involve agri-based startups on the themes identified in the Prime Minister’s Agriculture Emergency Program. At the same time, financial institutions need to revisit rules to regulate access to credit for agri startups. Active collaboration between Agriculture Research Council and startups for research and development, and private sector involvement to allow transfer of technology can accelerate the adoption of modern practices in the sector which can lead to data-driven decision making for optimized land and water utilization, increased yield, and enhanced disease management,” the NIC report said. “Agriculture across the world is undergoing massive transformation because of digitization, and developing countries like Pakistan, who rely on agriculture as a critical pillar of economic and social growth, need to keep pace with the global megatrends, to remain competitive and fulfill increasing domestic and global demand. This is only possible when all stakeholders step up for collaboration and mutually work for the development of advanced technologies and educate and incentivize farmers on the adoption of these technologies. By adapting global trends into the local agricultural sector, Pakistan can increase the sector’s share to the GDP of the country and not only meet domestic demand but also produce surplus to meet global demand.”