A digital initiative called Digital Dera has been launched in Punjab to empower farmers with digital agriculture solutions and to create smart villages.
As the first step, the digital agriculture community network project has been launched at a small and remote Pakpattan village to provide internet access to the local farmers to latest technology and resources in the farming sector.
With an aim at building the capacity of more than 15,000 farmers of the area in digital farming practices, the project has been established with the collaboration of Agriculture Republic startup and Internet Society and is supported by Hayat Farms Pakpattan, Accountability Lab, and Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) at Chak 26-SP of the village.
Pakpattan-based young farmer and Agriculture Republic founder Aamer Hayat Bhandara said “the network will support youth, women and men farmers to learn and access the latest information and knowledge about digital and precision agriculture, especially smart farming innovations with hands-on capacity building and demonstrations.”
In the first phase, two desktop computers and three tablets have been made available at the Dera, equipped with a fast broadband connection in an air-conditioned atmosphere powered by a solar system.
“The Digital Dera is an attempt to empower local farmers through the internet connectivity and access to digital knowledge economy,” says Aamer Hayat Bhandara.
“It will also serve as a digital hub to organize awareness and capacity building sessions to educate the youth and small farmers about transparency and accountability in agriculture, food security and climate change policies.”
It will support Internet empowered entrepreneurship and introduce the farmers to the power of IoT (Internet of Things), e-commerce, digital and online means to increase crop yields, smart management of farms and promote agriculture products to the world from the heart of Pakistan’s rural centre.