Telenor Velocity is Uplifting Pakistani Agri Sector Through Technological Intervention
Given its status as the economic backbone of Pakistan, the potential of the agriculture sector has been the subject of discussions on a multitude of platforms for decades. Yet, the hardships of this sector and associated communities persist due to a variety of reasons. Mobile technology has the answer to the longstanding woes of the local agri sector, therefore it is imperative to engage more digital solutions.
Within the past decade, we have witnessed the power of mobile technology in terms of financial inclusion of the unbanked in Pakistan and have seen how easy a financial transaction can get with a mobile phone.
This success unleashed how a mobile in every hand can achieve what has never been achieved before. Telenor Pakistan identified the potential to enable the agriculture sector through a digital intervention and Khushal Zamindar, a user-friendly Robocall, IVR and SMS content-based service for farmers came into being. The success of this initiative proved that mobile technology is the key to the agriculture sector’s transformation.
Taking this effort a step further is Telenor Velocity’s first Agri-tech cohort which seeks to enable startups with solutions to transform the agriculture sector in Pakistan. Velocity’s Agri-Tech cohort has on-boarded 3 start-ups that are getting the opportunity to partner with Pakistan’s largest Agri digital audio platform with a reach of over 8 million farmers, and a chance to scale their business by leveraging Telenor Pakistan’s digital platform and initiatives in the agri space.
These three startups include Pak Zar Zameen, Good Earth, and Pak Agri Market.
Pak Zar Zameen
The innovative service aims to provide low-cost precision agriculture services and crop health analysis.
“Pak Zar Zameen is a one-stop digital solution for the agriculture fraternity that includes early detection of crop stress, identification of intra-field variability, benchmarking of crop performance, monitoring of effects of a specific task, and satellite-based maps. This app can also produce maps of larger areas and provide a historical data of up to 5 years,” said Fahad Tiwana, Co-founder, Pak Zar Zameen.
We’re thrilled to be selected for Velocity’s Agri-Tech cohort and can’t wait to materialize our dream of enabling the farmers in Pakistan.
“About half of the Pakistani population is employed in the agriculture sector but its share to GDP is only 25%. With Good Earth, we aim to bridge this gap by improving the local agri practices,” said Wasiq Ismail, Founder, Good Earth.
Good Earth will provide a digital ecosystem for farm mechanization with tracker services for machinery from Hello Tractor, an ag-tech social enterprise for improved, smarter and profitable tractors. The app will offer doorstep delivery of farm machinery to the farmers and will also serve as a learning platform for farmers by giving them training and certifications.
Pak Agri Market
Ayesha Ahmed, a tech-savvy individual and married to an agri expert, founded Pak Agri Market as a result of her interest in agriculture and technology. She believed technology can be integrated into the sector.
The service provides a digital agri directory for farmers in Pakistan in addition to providing a system for feedback, reviews, and ratings ensuring quality products at farmers’ doorsteps. Having access to millions of products at competitive pricing and real customer reviews, farmers can make more informed decisions than ever before.
“When we’re having food in our cozy homes, we usually don’t think of the hard work of the farmers that went into bringing that food to our plates. There is immense effort and labor that goes into the production of crops by the farmers and Pak Agri Market is a small effort to appreciate their contribution through useful information sharing,” says Ayesha.