Agricultural mechanization key to food security in Pakistan: WealthPK

Pakistan can revolutionize its farming methods through massive mechanisation of its agriculture sector, which is one of the major contributors to the country’s gross domestic product.

“Mechanisation has revolutionised farming methods and enabled farmers to perform tasks more efficiently and effectively. Using machinery such as tractors and combine harvesters instead of traditional manual labour has resulted in higher yields, lower labour costs, and more sustainable agricultural practices,” said Muzammil Hussain, a scientific officer at the National Agriculture Research Centre (NARC), Islamabad.

Talking to WealthPK, he said farmers could now perform tasks such as tilling, planting and harvesting on a huge scale due to the invention of tractors, plows, and other farm equipment. “As a result, productivity has increased significantly, allowing farmers to produce more crops with less effort and time.”

He said that with mechanisation, farming had also become more attractive to young people, who might not be interested in the physically demanding traditional farming methods.

“Moreover, mechanistion has enhanced precision in agricultural operations. Advanced technologies such as GPS, sensors and automated machinery offer accurate data collection and analysis, resulting in optimal resource allocation,” he said.

He said by adopting mechanised systems, farmers gained the flexibility to work throughout the year, regardless of weather conditions. “For example, the use of greenhouses and hydroponic systems enables farmers to grow crops in controlled environments, extending the growing season and mitigating the risk of crop failures caused by adverse weather.”

“Mechanisation can also improve the overall quality of agricultural produce. With automated machinery, farmers can employ precise harvesting techniques that minimise damage to crops, ensuring better product quality,” he added.

Additionally, Muzammil Hussain said this system facilitates timely and efficient post-harvest processes such as cleaning, sorting, grading and packaging. “These processes are crucial in preserving the quality and market value of agricultural produce, reducing post-harvest losses, and increasing the shelf life of products.”

Muzammil Hussain said the NARC’s Agricultural Engineering Institute (AEI) had also designed a multi-crop precision planter for regenerative agriculture. “It is essential for the government, private sector and development organisations to collaborate in promoting mechanisation and ensuring that small landholders can access appropriate machinery and support services.”

By prioritising agricultural mechanisation, Pakistan can enhance its food security by increasing productivity, improving efficiency, and strengthening the resilience of its agricultural sector in the face of challenges such as climate change, population growth, and changing consumer demands.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt