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E-system being developed to guide farmers through web, SMS.

ISLAMABAD -- Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications (MoIT) is in process of developing an e-system to provide guidance to farmers about best cropping system and technology through web, call centre and Short Messaging Service (SMS).

The project called "Development of software for site specific and economical crop production technology for various categories of farmers and its dissemination to the end users," will serve as a centralized knowledge-base for every district.

Sources at National ICT Research and Development Fund on Friday said the information regarding cropped area, cropping systems, area and yield of various crops, use of fertilizer, area of farms, number of farms, kind and area of orchards, livestock population, agriculture machinery, irrigation facilities, inputs availability, marketing facilities, soil types, social status of the people etc. has to be collected for every district.

They said the project is being developed in collaboration with University of Agriculture, Faisalabad at a cost of Rs. 29.58 million and is expected to be completed next year.

All the information collected will be classified into various categories through software.

At the same time, the latest research findings regarding crop production technologies will be collected from various research formations working for each district, the sources said and added all this information will be analyzed and synthesized to standardize site specific crop production technologies for all categories of the farms.

They said the uniqueness in this project is that the needs of every category of farmer will be addressed and guidance will be provided to them at their door step according to the area of their farm and the level of investment they are willing to do.

The farmers will get the information about the cost of inputs, prices of commodities and the income to be generated.

This effort is being done for the first time in the country, the sources added.

It is mentioned that sustainable growth in agriculture to maintain food security and economic growth is the countrys greatest challenge.

Most of the farmers in Punjab have small land holdings and their farming is below subsistence level. There are 56% farms which have an area up to 5 acres and they lack awareness to adopt latest knowledge and production management techniques to optimize their productivity.

These farmers need guidance for the best cropping system and technology suiting to their piece of land and resources.

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Publication:Balochistan Times (Baluchistan Province, Pakistan)
Date:Apr 25, 2015
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