Mohammad Ashraf is a farmer and unable to understand how people in Islamabad can predict the next 2 days of rain in their village.
They are also surprised that, based on this prediction, they also tell how much water should be given to rice and sugarcane crops.
The young farmer, 36-year-old Mohammad Ashraf, says that I am surprised that science can predict things that are not possible for human beings and which have only God’s authority.
Every Friday, they receive an SMS in Urdu language which says, Dear peasant friend, Please inform you that between 21 and 28 July 2017, the crops in your area (Bahawal Nagar). (Cotton 1.6 and sugarcane 1.7 inches) will need water; next week some parts of your area are likely to rain, so please irrigate the crops accordingly.
This SMS is sent by the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR), a government agency conducting research on water.
Ashraf might be even more surprised to find out that this information comes from space –
Faisal Hussain, head of Sustainability, Satellite, Water and Environment (SASWE), a Washington University research group, says his group has developed a program that harvests water at a cost-effective and sustainable way for the entire country. He says his company determines the proportion of water for a given time and specific area of crops through satellite measurements and models of land.
Young farmer Ashraf, who lives in Hayatpur area of Sargodha district of Punjab, now takes these messages seriously, 5 years ago he met PCRWR water experts to study groundwater protection and crop production. Were doing surveys to improve –
During the survey, experts found that farmers were giving excessive water to the crops, they installed a water meter on 12 acres of Ashraf’s farm and told them that if the arrow turns to green on the dial, There is enough water and when turning to red, it is necessary to irrigate the crops.
Ashraf told TheWordWell.net that like other farmers in the village, I did not believe what he said. We are staunch farmers and know what works and what doesn’t.
But next year they decided to give water to the crops, when the arrow on the meter was red, that same year they had more production, diesel was less used to run the tube well, All that resulted in them earning more profits than other farmers in the village. This is only because of use of mobile technology in Pakistani Agriculture.
Ashraf said that others gave their sugarcane crops three times more water than me, and not only did my plants grow bigger, but my crops also seemed less insect-less than others.
According to Ashraf, he received one thousand acres of land from an acre of land, one was sold for Rs 180, I sold my crop for one lakh 80 thousand, while another farmer could earn between Rs. Their views have changed; now they intend to overlook everything in the PCRWR, admitting that 99% of their predictions regarding rainfall are accurate.
From last year, the PCRWR sends weekly informative sms to Ashraf and other farmers like them, stating how much water their crops require, and sending seasonal forecasts.
The service started from 700 farmers across Pakistan in April 2016, and since January this year, the number of farmers receiving messages has grown to 10,000.
Ahmad Zeeshan Bhatti, deputy director of the PCRWR, says the agency has sent suggestions to some organizations to improve their advice and deliver their services to one million farmers.
According to him, we did a survey to find out farmers’ perceptions of our suggestions, in which we received encouraging responses, saying that between 25 and 30 percent of farmers contact immediately for more information.
He adds that our preliminary telephonic survey showed that farmers are saving about 40 percent of their water through careful irrigation, adding that the service is able to save 250 million cubic meters of irrigation water annually.
Use of mobile Technology in pakistani agriculture:
Ahmad Zeeshan Bhatti said that in the next phase of the program, the PCRWR seeks to train farmers and agriculture sector employees, so that research and meteorological advice can be used better.
Mohammad Tariq, a 37-year-old farmer from Faisalabad, says that the information I send to PCRWRs is particularly beneficial, because saving water will make us more profitable, but they also want other kinds of information. Such as when to plant crops, when to spray pesticides, and how often to plant them, what kind of seeds will be better for the crop, etc.
According to Tariq, we are now relying on sellers of agricultural products, who tell us about seeds and pesticides, what they tell us we have to believe, if this information is provided by a government agency – it will be authentic.
Azim Shah, regional researcher at the International Water Management Institute in Lahore, said that when the British created the Indus Basin Irrigation System (IB) between 1847 and 1947