Rahim Yar Khan, 6 July, 2023 (GNP): The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in collaboration with the Government of Punjab, launched a Digital Village Initiative (DVI) pilot site, today, in a ceremony organized at the Food Security & Agriculture Centre of Excellency (FACE), Ahmadpur Lamma, Rahim Yar Khan.
Two sites: one in Rahim Yar Khan and another in Sargodha, were launched after detailed assessment conducted in 7 districts of Punjab and Sindh with the support of the provincial governments of both provinces. High government officials, community leaders, researchers, male and female farmers, the private sector and other key stakeholders were present at the launching event.
This pilot launch is the FAO’s global initiative under the 1000 Digital Village Initiate in Asia and the Pacific to bridge the technological divide and empower rural communities with access to digital resources, education, and opportunities.
During the ceremony, female lead farmers from the pilot site villages also received 10 tablets to use the agriculture-related applications on which they were already trained by FAO.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Hyper Localized Weather Station pilot site was also organized along with a briefing on the digital monitoring and forecasting function of the weather station. The stations were installed on both pilot sites along with the provision of necessary equipment installed at training halls of both sites for virtual training of farmers.
The stations will provide customised weather advisory, forecast pest & disease models and other information to farmers of 10 kilometres range from its vicinity. Both weather station facilities are also equipped to arrange online trainings for farmers on the latest innovations in agriculture.
Male and female farmers of selected pilot sites received training on different features of the weather station. Through these stations, farmers will be able to get customized and specific information to their farmland, accurate data and information which will help them in reducing costs related to inputs and taking measures for crop protection.
The data will also help Punjab Agriculture Extension 2.0 Project, Water Management Department and Start-Up companies to offer customized, farm-specific services to farmers. Booths were also set up at the launching ceremony by the digital service provider, which served as an avenue to connect the farmers with services available to them.
Through the deployment of robust internet infrastructure and the provision of tablets and technological resources, the DVI seeks to empower individuals with access to a wealth of information, e-learning platforms, and digital services.
The DVI represents a significant step towards building a more connected and prosperous future for rural Pakistan. By harnessing the power of technology and fostering digital inclusivity, this initiative promises to bring about positive socio-economic change and uplift communities that have long been underserved