Ignite under the auspices of the Ministry of IT and Telecommunication entered into a framework collaboration agreement with Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) to further the use of digitization and innovation in the development of tech-based solutions to benefit sustainable agricultural production (agriculture, livestock, and aquaculture), increase food & nutrition security and increase farmers’ access to markets.

Mr. Asim Shahryar Husain, CEO Ignite, and Roshan Zada, Secretary (Council), PARC inked the framework collaboration agreement in the presence of Syed Junaid Imam, Member IT, Ministry of IT & Telecom, and Dr. Muhammad Azeem Khan, Chairman PARC. The framework collaboration agreement aims to leverage the use of digitization and innovation in the development of tech-based solutions to benefit sustainable agricultural production (agriculture, livestock, and aquaculture), boost agricultural productivity, and increase farmers’ access to markets.

In his welcome address, Dr. Muhammad Azeem Khan, Chairman PARC apprising the audience of PARC tech-based initiatives said that agriculture is the mainstay of Pakistan’s economy as it contributes around 20 percent in the overall gross domestic product (GDP) at present and is also a big source of employment.

Low growth, water shortage, environmental concerns, volatile energy prices, and rising expectations of consumers are some of the complex challenges the agriculture sector is facing today, in the face of diminishing profit margins for farmers.

Speaking at the occasion, Asim Shahryar Husain, CEO Ignite, said that innovation in agriculture cuts across the entire value chain – from crops, forestry, fishery, or livestock production to the management of inputs and resources to market access. He said that Ignite has always extended its full support to resolve these challenges through technology interventions by bringing innovative solutions for increased yield and profit margins for the farmers by decreasing the role of middlemen.

He added that Ignite had organized an Agrisurge Innovation Challenge in collaboration with FAO last year whose winners were given cash awards in April 2021. Ignite will be launching an agritech incubator in the future to nurture startups focused on solving local agriculture-related problems using technology. This will have a very useful impact on the productivity and exports of the agricultural sector of Pakistan.