E Agriculture the need of modern technology By Allah Dad Khan Focal Person E agriculture KPK Pakistan
By Allah Dad Khan
Former DG Agri Extension KPK
Current Agriculture Scenario in Pakistan
• Large population (over 45%) is employed in
agriculture sector of Pakistan so in order to meet
the increasing demands of food stuff and to
produce more for our economic progress it is of
vital importance that while taking advantage of
our local knowledge base we must use world
proven best practices to build the capacity of
their rular areas and use of ICT for social and
economic development of societies. Production
from agriculture in Pakistan is vulnerable to
number of factors. Some of these could be
controlled by timely information.
Challenges to Agriculture in Pakistan
1. Insufficient agricultural infrastructure and support facilities,
2. Insufficient institutional capacity to deliver farmers specific services,
3. Lack of awareness regarding suitable agricultural methods among the
4. Agricultural content development and its up gradations,
5. Ownership issues of the public and government generated data,
6. Inadequate use of Public-Private Partnerships in Country ,
7. Lack of “Common Platforms” for the farmers in Pakistan ,
8. Absence of an “Agricultural Think-Tank” in Country,
9. Insufficient use of ICT for agricultural purposes, etc.
10. Lack of Awareness to Farmers about Agriculture
11. High cost of Agriculture Inputs
12. Energy Crisis in Agriculture
13. Water crisis
Types of ICT use in agriculture:
The term eAgriculture describes the delivery of agriculture-related services via
information and communication technology (ICT). Using this kind of service requires
access to PCs and internet. eAgriculture can also involve the use of techniques like GIS,
remote sensing and various wireless devices.
mAgriculture is a subset of eAgriculture, referring to the delivery of agriculture-related
services via mobile communications technology. Mobile communication
Technologym Agriculture includes all kinds of portable devices like basic mobile
phones, smartphones, PDAs or tablet devices (e.g. iPad)mAgriculture can also
Involve gathering relevant data through mobile technologies like automated weather
stations (AWS) or systems and sensors for location-based collection
Types of ICT use in agriculture:
teleAgriculture is another subset of eAgriculture, referring to Agriculture
related services delivered with agronomist participation via electronic
communications. teleAgriculture overlaps with mAgriculture when
Mobile communications technologies are employed in the delivery process. Establish
model telecasters to showcase this approach, with e-government
services acting as anchor services. Provide incentives for investors to establish
services agencies to innovate and localize high-impact services
Mobile 2.0 applications offer services beyond simple voice or text
Messages these include payments, money transfers and mobile banking.
How ICT can make a difference in
Agriculture is an important sector with the
majority of the rural population in developing
countries depending on it. The sector faces major
challenges of enhancing production in a situation
of dwindling natural resources necessary for
production. The growing demand for agricultural
products, however, also offers opportunities for
producers to sustain and improve their
livelihoods. Information and communication
technologies (ICT) play an important role in
addressing these challenges and uplifting the
livelihoods of the rural poor.
ICT in Support of Rural Poverty Elimination and
• In August 2003, the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), the UK Department for International
Development (DFID) and the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) joined
together in a collaborative research project to look at bringing together livelihoods thinking with
concepts from information and communication for development, in order to improve
understanding of the role and importance of information and communication in support of rural
• The policy recommendations included:
• Building on existing systems, while encouraging integration of different technologies and
• Determining who should pay, through consensus and based on a thorough analysis of the costs
• Ensuring equitable access to marginalised groups and those in the agricultural sector
• Promoting localised content, with decentralised and locally owned processes
• Building capacity, through provision of training packages and maintaining a choice of information
• Using realistic technologies, that are suitable within the existing infrastructure
• Building knowledge partnerships to ensure that knowledge gaps are filled and a two-way flow of
information allows knowledge to originate from all levels of the network and community.
Role of ICT in Information And Communication
Technology For Rural Development
Timely information on weather forecasts and calamities, ICT based Kisan mobile messages.
Application of ICT in agricultural extension, Agri Research , Agri University , Livestock and Fisheries .
E village for Agriculture and Rural Development , ICT initiatives for agricultural development.
Better and spontaneous agricultural practices, through village Knowledge Center /community center.
Better marketing exposure and pricing, Linking the farmers with market through web and mobile
Reduction of agricultural risks and enhanced incomes, E.Clinic in Agri and Rural Development
Better awareness and information, Taking agricultural technologies to the grassroots on wheels.
Irrigation and water usage
Disease and Insect Information
Role of ICT in Information And Communication
Technology For Rural Development contd
Improved networking and communication, Development of Farmer Data base
Facility of online trading and e-commerce,
Better representation at various forums, authorities and platform, etc.
Effectiveness of interactive multimedia compact disc IMCD in diffusing technologies among farm women in
different ecosystem and promotion of Farm technologies through interactive multimedia: a multi stake
Techmode approach for distance learning courses for field Assistant and VA.
Useful databases and websites on agroforestry and farm forestry
Watershed modelling for development of sustainable livelihood
information technology is intensively used in agricultural administration, research and development,
extension, marketing and managing farmers' organizations
E-agriculture (sometimes written eagriculture)
• is a relatively recent term in the field of agriculture and
rural development practices. Consistency in the use of
this term began to materialize with the dissemination
of results from a global survey carried out by the
United Nations (UN). This survey conducted in late
2006 by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the
United Nations (FAO) found that half of those who
replied identified “e agriculture” with information
dissemination, access and exchange, communication
and participation processes improvements around
rural development. In contrast, less than a third
highlighted the importance of technical hardware and
PROSPECTS OF E-AGRICULTURE IN PAKISTAN
In general, the future directions in e-agriculture point to the need to
enhance human resources, equipment/facilities,
policy support system. The most pressing concerns are the
lack of trained personnel on IT; poor network connectivity and network
infrastructure in rural areas limiting the use of IT in extension, complex and
dynamic nature of agriculture which requires continuous assessment of data
fields for decision support systems; limited computer literacy by farmers,
making it difficult to convince them of the benefits of e-agriculture; and the
lack of policy environment/support for better information network
The challenge ahead is for Pakistan is to explore the uncommon opportunities
presented by the information technology revolution, to ensure a vibrant responsive,
sustainable, and productive agriculture toward the attainment of food security and a
broad-based economic growth.
1. Increasing smallholder productivity and incomes
2. Making agricultural markets more efficient and transparent
3. Linking poor farmers to urban, regional and global markets
4. Improving services and governance for the rural poor
5. Promoting – and including smallholders in – agricultural innovation
6. Helping farmers manage a range of risks
7. Improving land and natural resource management and addressing environmental
8. Helping poor farmers participate in higher-value agriculture
9. Supporting the emergence of a more diverse rural economy, and supporting rural
families‘ decisions about their mix of productive activities
(1) E-AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION
1. Timely dissemination of agricultural information through online information services, education
and training, monitoring and consultation, and transaction and processing;
2. Farmers' access to agricultural information through databases established by government and
3. Facilitation of interaction among researchers, extension workers and farmers;
4. Question and answer services where experts respond to queries on specialized subjects for
greater efficiency in delivering services for overall agricultural development;
5. Providing up-to-date information about subjects useful to farmers, such as packages of
production techniques/practices, management skills, market information, weather forecasting,
input supplies, credit availability, agricultural statistics, and agricultural policy and programmes;
6. providing early warning signs about crop and livestock disease/pest problems, natural disasters,
and mitigation measures.
7. Raises awareness on the role of E –Agri in poverty alleviation
8. Ensure low prices for broadband internet in rural areas.
9. Foster combined public-private efforts and cost sharing arrangements to ensure sustainability of
rural information centres.
10. Support technical innovations for rural connectivity, such as wireless broadband connections or
solar powered systems. Converging of media and tools for communication
11. Increased tailor-made, quality agricultural information services.
12. Foster the adaptation of information into formats and languages relevant for rural users
(2) E-AGRICULTURAL MARKETING
Efforts should be made to incorporate IT in the following areas to facilitate
1. Awareness of up-to-date market information on prices for commodities,
2. Set up of Market information system
3. Collection of a large body of marketing information for various
commodities and markets,
4. Enabling the farmers to find the marketing information they need:
5. Use of IT in wholesales markets and distribution centers of farm products
6. Services providing information to farmers regarding farm business and
7. Expansion of the use of e-commerce for direct linkages between
producers, traders, retailers, and suppliers.
8. Timely information available in appropriate formats
(3) E-FARMERS' ORGANIZATION
This can help farmers' organization in re-orienting themselves toward
the overall agricultural development of small-scale producers.
1. With the appropriate information, organized small-scale
producers can even have a competitive edge over larger
2. The expanding uses of IT by farmers' organization worldwide are
3. use of It to supply farms with commercial inputs, farm credit,
marketing, and other support services; computerization
4. application of IT in improving the efficiency of these organizations;
dissemination of technical information to members,
5. improving the extension function and information service of these
organizations; and provision of access to computers and the
Internet to cooperative members.
(4)Agricultural Value Chains and ICT
• ICTs play an important role in agricultural value chains, with
different types of ICT having different strengths and weaknesses
when applied to particular interventions.
• The impacts of ICT are diverse, and they influence market
competitiveness in different ways.
• However, technology should not overshadow the people and
• While the positive impacts of ICT are being catalogued and
discussed, many rural farmers still do not have access to or the
capacity to use ICT.
(5) Capacity Building and empowerment
Communities and farmer organizations can be helped through the use of ICTs to strengthen their own
capacities and better represent their constituencies when negotiating
1. input and output prices,
2. land claims,
3. resource rights
4. infrastructure projects.
5. Rural communities benefit from better access to credit and rural banking facilities.
ICT enables rural communities to interact with other stakeholders,
A. social isolation.
B. It widens the perspective of local communities in terms of national or global Developments
C. opens up new business opportunities
D. allows easier contact with friends and relatives.
E. A role is also played by ICT in making processes more efficient
F. and transparent.
G. It helps in making laws and land titles more
Linkages and Capacity Building
A. strengthen the research-extension-farmer linkage and also enable the flow of up to date information among the stakeholders.
B. For instance, it will enable extension workers to access and utilize a wide range of knowledge
C. Through training role of the extension worker would be improved from transferring technology packages to that of transferring
knowledge and information packages
D. The effectiveness of ICT-based agricultural knowledge and information management equally depends on the availability of well
trained human resource in ICT,
E. The cost of ICT equipments particularly computers and related ones should be affordable to enable the expansion of ICT-based
agricultural knowledge and information management.
E Village Agri Steps
1.Identification of village
2.Evillage Rabta Committee
3.Preparing to Take off
4.Sharing Vision of E Village
5.Setting up of Computer Training Center
6.Setting Up of Tele FSC
7.Putting All together
8. Monthly Review of Progress
9.Web Based Services
Summary ofKey Points of Presentation
• 1. There is huge databank of agricultural information in internet and print media in
2. Trustworthiness & reliability of available information needs validation.
3. There is need for effective monitoring and evaluation of agricultural information.
UAP should take initiative in this regards
4. Information should be relevant (e.g. according to ecological zones)
5. Information should be presented in attractive and interesting manner (pictorial,
graphics and video-based)
6. System of liaison and coordination between information providers should be
established , •, There is need to strengthen the collaboration of private & public
7. Trust of farmers on information provider is very important , Data base of farmers
should be arranged so they can be interconnected for sharing the information
Summary of Key Points of Presentation
8. Promotion of the use of ICT tools (mobile phone, internet) with in the local socio-
economic and cultural context.
9. Extension staff should be equipped with proper ICT tools
10. Establishment of village level community centers and Call centers
11. Technologies should be affordable , Information should be need based, site
specific & timely available , and shared at right time right place
12. Continuous and dedicated work of extension staff is important
13. Markets (and role of middle man) need to be regularized , Efficient use of ICT can
eliminate the role of middle man .
14. Subject specialist extension workers at the ground level, Specialized extension
worker (subject specialists) for different crops should be deployed
15. Promotion of ICT in village festivals and fairs etc.
16. Involvement of volunteers (students)d be relevant (e.g. according to ecological