Role of information technology in Agriculture
Two major problems of the world; population growth and urbanization .the population of the world is increasing day by day and it is daunting. As per 1998 census, population of Pakistan was 130,857,717 and by an estimate in 2016 it is 194,077,727. The population of Pakistan represents 2.55 percent of the world´s total population which means that one person in every 39 people on the earth is a resident of Pakistan. One may argue on the relative accuracy of these models, but they all agree that there will be many more mouths to feed in the coming years.
IT has changed the many system of other fields i.e. transportation, health, business, education etc. IT also helps in creating systems to respond the many other societal needs. However, information and its technology embodiment is not impacted Agriculture to the same level.
Importance of Agriculture:
Agriculture hold great significance for Pakistan .Agriculture sector is not only important in Pakistan but also at international level .It provide healthy food on our tables and fodder for the livestock .Produce raw materials for major industries like cotton, jute fabric sugarcane and tobacco .Agriculture is playing an important role in the economic development of Pakistan. It produce exportable item, which increases the foreign exchange, so agriculture is helping in economic development.
Role of IT in agriculture:
Role of it can be assessed by two points; a) direct contribution to make agriculture productive, b) indirect tool for empowering farmers to take informed and quality decisions which will have solid impact on the way agriculture and related activities are conducted.
IT made new methods for modern agriculture like computerized farm machinery is used for fertilizer ,pesticides and tillage operation, Electronic sensors and identification systems are used to fed and monitor the farm animals. Selling crop or buying seed and pesticides online is adapted by the world. However, in Pakistani farmers are not so much educated that they use the internet facilities , extension workers should educate them about the use and importance of IT ,
Following are some specific ways IT being applied through agricultural education:
- Basic Internet Applications
- PowerPoint Presentations and Microsoft excel
- Global Positioning Systems (GPS)
The indirect benefits of IT in empowering farmer are significant and remain to be exploited. Presently farmers require some reliable sources to take decisions. Farmers don’t have the information about climate change and the change of environment which majorly affect the crop production. Therefore, IT knowledge is necessary to remain competitive.
Effects of IT on Agriculture:
- Right decisions
- On time field operations
- Better planning
- Community involvement
- Agriculture for everyone
- Conservation of food
- Change in cropping pattern
- On time harvesting
All that farmer need is to make their minds and switch to the modern agriculture. Today, world is taking benefit of new agriculture innovations and improve on farm production. Moreover, IT helps the farmer to remain in touch with international and national markets. It will definitely improve the livelihood of farmers.
University of Agriculture Faisalabad