‘Smart farming’ can help boost Pakistan’s agriculture output

ISLAMABAD: Using the ‘smart Internet of Things (IoT) farming solutions’ can help farmers increase their production.
Talking to WealthPK, Zubair Ahmed, a scientific officer at the National Agriculture Research Centre (NARC), said the IoT application in the agriculture sector was making farming more profitable. “Extreme weather conditions, climate changes and environmental impacts are some of the challenges faced by the agriculture sector in meeting growing food demand, and IoT is helping tackle these challenges.”
“Smart farming is a hi-tech, efficient and sustainable approach to agriculture. This is achieved by applying innovative technologies within the agriculture process from preparing the soil for planting to harvesting crops. In this process, devices are integrated with the cloud technology to provide valuable real-time insights about the crops to farmers,” he explained.
Zubair Ahmed said, “the IoT system can detect real-time weather conditions like humidity, rainfall, temperature, and wind conditions very accurately. The data collected thus help farmers choose the right crops to grow and sustain, and quickly act if weather conditions become unfavourable.”
“Apart from that, IoT applications are also being used for precise farming. Livestock monitoring, vehicle tracking, field observation, and inventory monitoring all enable farmers to analyse information and take informed and quick decisions.”
The NARC scientist further explained, “farmers can also analyse soil, water, and nutrient conditions to increase farming effectiveness and efficiency.”
“IoT applications in the agricultural industry have made farming more efficient, effective, and sustainable.”
Zubair Ahmed said the concept behind IoT is about connecting just about everything to the internet in real-time, which directly improves our quality of life and experiences.
“Sensors are becoming the endpoints of IoT networks. They collect data and information such as location, images, and weather conditions and inject them into networks, actuators, and applications in real time.”
“IoT is a massive network of interconnected devices. These gadgets collect and disseminate information about their usage and operating environment. Sensors, which are present in all physical devices, are used in every step of the process,” he said.
In this regard, Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi, has set up ‘Smart IoT Farm’ at the University Research Farm in Koont, Gujjar Khan, to help farmers become aware of their crops’ demands in real time.
At the opening of IoT farm, the agriculture minister of Punjab requested the vice-chancellors of other universities to develop such farms in order to promote digital and precision agriculture in Pakistan.
The minister said that Pakistan could achieve self-sufficiency in agricultural production and export agricultural goods by encouraging digital farming.