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Assessing the potential of ICT in Pakistan’s agricultural extension

May 5, 2016
Mark Bell presented the working paper to the Federal Minister of National Food Security and Research, Pakistan. Photo: Amina Nasim Khan/CIMMYT

Mark Bell presented the working paper to the Federal Secretary of National Food Security and Research, Pakistan. Photo: Amina Nasim Khan/CIMMYT

ISLAMABAD– The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Agricultural Innovation Program for Pakistan shared the findings and proposed a plan for applying information communication technology (ICT) in agricultural extension in Pakistan, today in Islamabad during the launch ceremony of a working paper on the use of ICT in agriculture extension in Pakistan

This working paper is a product of AIP’s e-PakAG led by the University of California Davis (UC Davis) and highlights a series of opportunities to enhance the use of ICT in agricultural extension. Held at the National Agricultural Research Center (NARC), Islamabad, the launch ceremony of ICT use highlighted the promising role of new tools such as cell phones and enhanced videos in obtaining better scientific results to help farmers.  The work by UC Davis and the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, was implemented as part of the AIP, led by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in partnership with the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC), ILRI, AVRDC, IRRI and UC Davis.

Imtiaz Muhammad sharing the highlight of AIP and his views on the impact of information communication technology (ICT) on improving agricultural sector. Photo: Amina Nasim Khan/CIMMYT

Imtiaz Muhammad sharing the highlight of AIP and his views on the impact of information communication technology (ICT) on improving agricultural sector. Photo: Amina Nasim Khan/CIMMYT

CIMMYT Country Representative Imtiaz, Muhammad during the presentation of a working paper on ICT in agricultural extension said, “This new era of technology is leading to new horizons in agricultural research. The trends indicate powerful impact of information communication technology on improving the farmer’s productivity and these innovative practices will ultimately improve the Pakistani agricultural sector.”

Praising the efforts of AIP, Federal Secretary for National Food Security and Research Abid Javed pointed out that the continuous support of the American people is reshaping Pakistan’s agricultural sector, particularly farmers.

“ICT, like never before, offers us unprecedented opportunities to connect people and make useful information available to poor farmers. We have to find out how to better turn that potential into reality,” said Mark Bell, leader of AIP’s e-Pak Ag.

Pakistan’s Federal Minister of National Food Security and Research shared his thoughts with the audience at the launching ceremony. Photo: Amina Nasim Khan/CIMMYT

Pakistan’s Federal Secretary of National Food Security and Research shared his thoughts with the audience at the launching ceremony. Photo: Amina Nasim Khan/CIMMYT

As PARC Chairman Nadeem Amjad indicated, today the use of ICT is essential and AIP’s efforts will make it easy to convey relevant and credible information to extension staff and, through them, to farmers.

The United States is committed to working hand in hand with Pakistan to develop and modernize the agricultural sector. As a global center of excellence in the improvement of maize and wheat systems, CIMMYT has maintained a long and highly productive relationship with the Pakistani government and national partners, with the invaluable support of U.S. government agencies. AIP’s E-Pak Ag activities are capturing science and research innovations led by UC Davis, which has a rich history of working with and strengthening research, education and extension programs around the world.

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Launched in 2013, the USAID-funded Agricultural Innovation Program for Pakistan (AIP) works to increase agricultural productivity and incomes by promoting and disseminating modern practices in the cereal and cereal systems (wheat, maize and rice), livestock, fruit, and vegetable sectors; enhancing the capacity of agricultural scientists and researchers through short-term and long-term training such as M.Sc. and Ph.D. scholarships at U.S. land grant universities; establishing Provincial Agricultural Research for Development (AR4D) Boards to support expansion of provincial linkages to national, regional and international communities through a mechanism of coordination; and improving agricultural growth and research in Pakistan through a Competitive Grants System. Project management is vested in a unique consortium of Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) centers, US land grant universities, non-CGIAR centers, and the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC), led by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT). For more information, visit:  aip.cimmyt.org.


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