Kisan Portal

The Prime Minister has in mind a lot of ambitious initiatives for the farmers of Pakistan, and as with the government, a lot of the communications for these initiatives have been planned through digital means. One of the ways the government has planned to reach farmers and “give them a voice” is the launch of the “Kisan portal” a special category for farmers in the Pakistan Citizen Portal. Thanks to this portal, calls from farmers will go directly to the chief secretary’s office. According to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), 123 dashboards have been set up in the relevant institutions at the federal and provincial levels.
Some of the ideas that the Prime Minister proposed during the launch of this portal are extremely relevant and required national attention. For example, the Prime Minister rightly pointed out that Pakistan had reduced its research spending in the past. Countries that have invested in research have witnessed an increase in agricultural productivity. This is a crucial factor which explains why agricultural growth has suffered in Pakistan, and that is an area where the government can directly help in boosting farmers’ incomes. Another important subject the Prime Minister addressed was how the agriculture sector needed government assistance in adopting new techniques to increase crop yields.
Soldier martyred in North Waziristan terrorist attack. While these concerns are imperative, and it is commendable that the highest political office of the country took notice of these issues, what the Prime Minister did not convey is how this Kisan portal will work in a largely non-digital sphere, and more importantly, how it will be different from previous similar unsuccessful portals.
There are serious hurdles of digital illiteracy and lack of internet access, especially in rural areas where a lot of farmers reside, that the government must work upon before any such portals can be effective channels of communication.