In recent news, a group of young Pakistani agritech entrepreneurs has introduced an initiative called ‘Digital Dera’ which aims to empower farmers in the latest technological solutions. This will inevitably further enhance the agriculture sector in the remote parts of Pakistan’s Punjab area.
Agritech is slowly becoming a rising market across the startup ecosystem as previously Tazah Technologies, a Pakistani B2B marketplace, raised $2 million in a pre-seed round led by Global Founders Capital and Zayn Capital.
Digital Dera is currently providing services to more than 2,000 farmers in numerous villages and remote areas where fertile land is available. The startup aims to further its network in numerous regions. Digital Dera is a joint collaboration of the Agriculture Republic and the Internet Society and is backed by Hayat Farms Pakpattan, Accountability Lab, and the Pakistan Telecommunication Co. Ltd., the largest telecommunications provider in Pakistan.
According to Fouad Riaz Bajwa, co-founder of Digital Dera:
“We brought fast-speed internet from the city all the way to the most remote, rural, and agriculturally dense region of the country and set up a Digital Dera on Oct. 2 with a technological environment comparable to any city. This environment enables free-of-cost access to data and information about farming and agricultural innovations that farmers, youth, and women especially can access.”
Aamer Hayat, one of the co-founders also stated:
“We are providing digital and online means to increase crop yield, smart manage farms, and promote agriculture products to the world from the heart of Pakistan’s rural center. We are starting weekly training sessions and, one day will hold women-only sessions. The project will also serve as a digital hub to organize awareness and capacity-building sessions to educate youth and small farmers on precision agriculture, food security, and climate change policies.”
In addition, Dr. Mohammed Anjum Ali, Director-General for agriculture in Punjab, mentioned the following:
“This is a private sector initiative. It was installed in an area where there was no internet available, but it was a very fertile and high-value crops area. We aimed to cooperate with them and are planning to launch such initiatives in other parts of the country as well.”
The unique fact about Digital Dera is that the founders had established this right in the middle of a farming community giving a profound value overall. All in all, the future of the agriculture sector in Pakistan looks bright.