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Land Information and Management System: Is Pakistan Venturing to Another Green Revolution?

Land Information and Management System: Is Pakistan Venturing to Another Green Revolution?


By Sana Hamid


Pakistan is buckling up to ascertain yet another green agricultural revolution with the first-ever Green Revolution brought in mid 1960s. Although it increased Pakistan’s food grain output three-folds, the subsequent politicization of land reforms and bureaucratic hurdles embroiled in Pakistan’s socio-economic failed to garner any long-term or sustainable solutions. Agriculture sector growth rate sharply declined in the subsequent years from 4% in 1960s to 2.5% today. It is for the first time in the history of Pakistan that agricultural output is expected to contract (0.4% in FY2023) in at least 20 years following floods, cultivation regressing, the population-production gap increasing and on top of all this agriculture related imports touching $ 10 billion mark festering economic woes of the country.


Taking into account heinous revelations that about 9.1 million hectares (27%) of cultivable land is left barren in Pakistan, this relatively new agenda of Modernized Agriculture Farming offers a promising venture. It is unprecedented in the history of Pakistan that Pakistan agriculture sector is being organized in such a massive degree that ‘real-time’ all-rounded cultivation of some 4.4 million hectares is being brought under one framework of Land Information and Management System-Center of Excellence (LIMS-COE).


This newly formulated platform to cope up with state’s economic woes targets food insecurity and GDP growth through large scale corporate farming, Research & Development in Seeds, Fertilizers and Artificial Intelligence-based solutions through Public/ Private Partnerships and in collaboration with foreign and domestic partners. Real-time precision farming, biotechnology (genetic engineering, seed coating and seed inoculation), irrigation management, pest management, agro-forestry and aquaculture are targeted in this regard to increase production yield, reduce input cost, minimize environmental impact and ensure sustainable and environment friendly solutions to agriculture growth and development sustainability for that matter.


The incorporation of Artificial Intelligence or Information Technology techniques to this revolution is another inspiring feature of this development. Pakistan aims to employ GIS techniques and digitalization of agricultural land and practices to ensure its aim of optimal land use of unirrigated land.
Through real-time data collection, analysis and reporting, they target to have the necessary insights to make informed decisions, identify challenges, and implement timely interventions for improved production.


While Pakistan’s policy making and initiatives are generally marked by ad-hocism and characterized by failures to reach full proclaimed potentials, the organizational way of dealing with the agriculture problem offers a prospective way forward as real time information about land, crops utility, weather information and communication technology, water resource management, pest handling and all relevant necessities and pre-requisites for the longer-term economic growth are brought under one roof.


LIMS-COE is a flag bearer for the achievement of splendid aspirations. Efforts are being made at highest forum to expedite strategic irrigation projects including Thar, Thal and Kachi canals. Construction of Check Dams for flash floods and new canals for flood control will be on priority. Moreover, adoption of high efficiency irrigation techniques (modular drip irrigation, sprinkler irrigation, pivot irrigation and sub-surface irrigation, etc.) will be incorporated.
The targeting of renewable energy resources, environment-friendly strategies and organized propagation and implementation of the project offers a distinctive as well as consolidated solution to deal with impending agricultural or economic problems-in general- of the state and hence attracting other states with KSA, Bahrain, China, UAE, Qatar and Finland in collaboration with the country on the project. The host country has specifically established Special Investment Facilitation Council 9SIC0 for the purpose.


Although such splendid aspirations and consolidated structuralization offers a way forward, Pakistan’s economic woes, political chaos, social instability, international supply chain disruptions and lack of skill/educated labor are foremost encumbrance to the desired results in agricultural or economic realm.
For efficacy and long-term sustainability of the project, it is necessary to make systemic amendments, specifically in country’s bureaucratic setup. Strategic infrastructure needs to be ensured to ease production site connectivity to the targeted market. Similarly, not only vocational training centers should be established for developing or modernizing the farmer skill-set but they should be incentivized for joining them. State shall also assure minimum support price to the farmers for their produce while ensuring that unsettling effects of this revolution are absorbed in a strategic manner.


The project has a capacity to become regional or even international in its character, scope and outreach. Consistency, social cohesion, catering to relevant vulnerable populace, stake-holder relevance, and development of social structures to absorb unsettling impact of the development will be the recipe for which!

*Opinions expressed in this article are the writer's own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of The South Asia Times   

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