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Data-driven Agriculture

Jinnah's Ideals

“The people (of Pakistan) are mostly simple folk, poor, not very well educated and with few interests beyond the cultivation of their fields. As I say, they are poor; but they come of hardy, vigorous stock, and I think without boasting I can claim that they are brave. They make good soldiers and have won renown in many battles. They have fought side by your side in two world wars. For the present, agriculture is our mainstay. With a population of about 22% of what was formerly British India, Pakistan produces about 33% of the total tonnage of rice and about 40% of the total tonnage of wheat. In essential foods, we are, therefore, comparatively fortunate. We also have some important commercial crops, such as jute, cotton and tobacco... It gives us the great benefit of earning large sums of foreign exchange will be very valuable to us setting up and expanding our industries.

- Mr. Jinnah / Quaid-e-Azam

- Speech: Pakistan and her people 

- Context: Broadcast to the people of Australia / 19th Feb, 1948

 

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Deeper reflections

Jinnah holds no illusions over the reality of his people nor does he propagate a false grandiose image to the world based on nationalistic ego.

 

He sticks to the facts, covers both strengths & weaknesses and that shall be Pakistan’s modus operandi in showcasing itself to the world:

 

  • Majority of Pakistanis are poor and not very well educated --- but yes, they are brave, resilient, generous and good-natured folks.

 

  • They have fought shoulder-to-shoulder in two world wars along with the recent war on terror. They have sacrificed their lives for the cause of world peace.

 

  • Further, the most distinctive feature about Pakistanis is their hospitable and charitable nature. Pakistanis contribute more than one percent of its GDP to charity which is comparable to much richer nations such as Canada and the United Kingdom. Pakistan is also home to the largest refugee population in the world and continues to display a spirit of resourcefulness despite the scarcity of wealth.

 

  • Majority of Pakistan’s population lives in rural areas and 45% of labor force is involved in agriculture.

 

With these facts in mind - Pakistan’s end goal is to transform its economy by giving it a tech-bias and propelling itself into the digital age.

 

To do so - among other strategic initiatives - Pakistan plans to double down on its agricultural strength by disrupting it’s existing operations to increase yields and reduce crop damage. It will do so by leveraging:

 

  • Machine Learning:

    • Partner with the Climate Fieldview and other such firms to enhance data collection from sensors on farming equipment and in the field. The data will empower machine learning models to help our farmers

      • Understand optimal weather + soil condition fertilizer levels

      • Become more informed on optimal seed selection

      • Detect early signs of disease

    • This will lead to smarter decision-making to increase yields and reap greater profits in a low-margin industry.

    • We will train our local farmers to become well-versed in variable seed rating, fertility management, field health imagery and crop performance analysis etc   

 

  • Drones: Drones will help us build Pakistan’s data-driven agriculture as they provide farmers with three types of detailed views. First, seeing a crop from the air can reveal patterns that expose everything from irrigation problems to soil variation and even pest and fungal infestations that aren’t apparent at eye level. Second, airborne cameras can take multispectral images, capturing data from the infrared as well as the visual spectrum, which can be combined to create a view of the crop that highlights differences between healthy and distressed plants in a way that can’t be seen with the naked eye. Finally, a drone can survey a crop every week, every day, or even every hour. Combined to create a time-series animation, that imagery can show changes in the crop, revealing trouble spots or opportunities for better crop management.

 

Pakistan aims to:

  1. Generate wealth for 45% of its labor force. Prosperous farmers = Prosperous Pakistan.

  2. Play a much larger role in the global agricultural production by focusing on sugarcane, corn, rice and wheat

  3. Build relationships with the South American and Caribbean regions as their share of GDP from agricultural production has been on the decline for the past 40 years.

 

Further - Pakistan invites all other tech-driven countries to partner up with us in modernizing Pakistan’s agriculture. This is a unique opportunity as the first-movers will experience privileged access to our agro-data as we build our infrastructure. This will be a win-win partnership and we invite all engineers and entrepreneurs to co-develop advanced sensors, imaging capabilities, and drones to empower the Pakistani farmer deserving of your help. 

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Mr. Jinnah explains Pakistan's historical connection with the United States of America during the Second World War when our two-people stood shoulder to shoulder in defence of democracy.

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