ISLAMABAD: The government of Pakistan and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) have jointly launched ‘AgriSurge 2020 Innovation Challenge’ with the aim to support agriculture with the help of IT solutions.

The ‘challenge’ was virtually launched by IT Secretary Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui and FAO representative in Pakistan Minà Dowlatchahi while sitting in the respective capitals of Pakistan and Italy.

Under the programme, Ignite National Technology Fund (Ignite)in collaboration with FAO has called for innovative solutions that can revolutionise the agriculture sector in Pakistan through fourth industrial wave (4IW) tech.

The competition is open for all with no age limit and the winning team will clinch a cash prize of Rs500,000, the first and second runner-up teams will receive Rs300,000 and Rs200,000, respectively.

The proposal can be submitted by July 14. Ignite, which isa state-owned non-profit company administered by theMinistryof Information Technology (IT),is managing the competition.

Secretary Siddiqui said ever since the outbreak of Covid-19, the IT ministry has launched ICT centric initiatives in sectors that are critically devastated by the pandemic, including health, education or agriculture.

He said the agriculture sector has great importance in the economic development of Pakistan and the ministry of IT will take every possible step for addressing the challenges and problems faced by the sector through technology interventions.

“Last week, we launched National Education Challenge 2020 for provision of education and increment of literacy rate in the face of global educational and industrial shutdown, using technology,” Mr Siddiqui said.

Ms Dowlatchahi through a video link said the initiative and leveraging 4IW Tech through youth and women engagement was essential to unlock agriculture and water management transformation in Pakistan.

Ignite CEO Syed Junaid Imam said the challenge will help local talents to develop practical ICT-based solutions to tackle key problems in the agriculture sector.

Published in Dawn, June 27th, 2020

Opinion

Editorial

System imbalance
Updated 29 Jun, 2022

System imbalance

Sagging under the weight of internal weaknesses, the political system once again seems to be wobbling towards disequilibrium.
BRICS exclusion
29 Jun, 2022

BRICS exclusion

FOR Pakistan’s sustained economic progress, it is essential for the country to maintain strong linkages with...
Covid resurgence
29 Jun, 2022

Covid resurgence

PAKISTAN is facing yet another wave of Covid-19 infections, with health experts predicting a surge in...
Sindh LG poll mess
Updated 28 Jun, 2022

Sindh LG poll mess

The ECP and the Sindh government share the blame for the electoral mismanagement witnessed on Sunday.
State apathy
28 Jun, 2022

State apathy

The minister would do well to revisit his stance before further damage is done to the fight for civil rights.
Lofty but fragile
28 Jun, 2022

Lofty but fragile

PAKISTAN is set for its busiest mountaineering season in over a decade, with over 1,400 climbers from across the...