ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will have a new geo-spatial system for accurate and timely assessment of crop yield to facilitate farmers and agriculture departments.
The US Department of Agriculture and United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) presented the new system to the federal and provincial government officials in order to forecast crop yields. The project will be implemented in Punjab and Sindh in the first phase and will be expanded in other parts of the country.
The new system will increase accuracy and decrease the costs of data collection on crop yields each year. “Crop yield forecasting is essential for the government to plan the country’s export targets and ensure food security, especially for the two major crops: wheat and rice,” said FAO representative for Pakistan Patrick T Evans.
“If the government knows that the yield of wheat or rice is going to be low, it can arrange measures to prevent food shortages,” he maintained.
Similarly, if the yield for cotton (which is a major export crop in Pakistan) is expected to be low, the country can either import cotton to keep the factories running, or adjust export targets and the plans for that year’s budget spending accordingly.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 30th, 2014.