Telenor Pakistan, Pakistan’s leading telecom and digital service provider, along with Telenor Microfinance Bank, has joined hands with Agriculture Department of the Government of Punjab and the Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) for the flagship program “Connected Agriculture Platform Punjab.” PITB seeks to capitalize on the immense potential offered by Digital Mobile technology, smartphone penetration and branchless mobile banking services to uplift the Agriculture Economy of the province. Telenor Pakistan, being the largest cellular operator and mobile financial services provider in the rural areas of the Punjab, has positioned itself as the ideal partner for this visionary project.
As part of the program, Interest-Free Loans to small holder farmers will be disbursed through EasyPaisa Mobile Wallets while Telenor will also develop a digital platform comprising multiple mobile and web apps to help millions of farmers in Punjab to improve their yield through easily accessible advisory of modern agriculture practices and improved access to agri experts and agriculture input providers.
According to estimates, Punjab has over 10 Million farmers out of which approximately 2 Million are already using smartphones and the number is growing every day.
The Connected Agriculture Platform Punjab (CAPP) aims to revolutionize agriculture practices across the province by connecting all stakeholders in the Agriculture Value Chain including but not limited to agriculture input providers, research institutions, commodity buyers, supply chain services provider, and agriculture extension workers.
As part of CAPP Program, 500,000 plus eligible farmers will also get 3G/4G-enabled smartphones along with free SIM cards and data bundles. To enable farmers to utilize the full potential of this platform, hundreds of facilitation centers and booths will be established across the province and training of thousands of farmers and creating Digital App Gurus at each Mosa/Village level.
“The collaboration between Telenor Pakistan and the Punjab Government provides the platform to uplift the livelihood of farmers by leveraging technology. By providing easy access to financial aid, fast internet connectivity, and expert advice, this initiative would bridge the gap between farmers and the information they need to maximize their production capabilities,” said Irfan Wahab Khan, CEO, Telenor Pakistan.
It is pertinent to mention here that PITB played an instrumental role in conceiving and rolling out this program in partnership with Agriculture Dept. Punjab and this initiative will surely contribute in helping materialize their agenda of a Digital Punjab.