The prestigious oldest University of Pakistan, the University of Punjab which was established in 1881 has signed a landmark MOU with SAWIE to strengthen collaborations to address the climate change crisis affecting Pakistan’s Food Security. Both organizations agreed to work together to help reduce the income gap of rural farming households by improving sustainable productivity. This unique cooperation will help Pakistan’s top academic institution to deliver its pathways to impact its academic research in the field of agriculture and engage interdisciplinary teams to work together. This interdisciplinary approach will help to enhance the impact of education and knowledge transfer to address Pakistan’s societal challenges and work towards achieving Pakistan’s target of UN Sustainable Goals (UN SDGs), end poverty, hunger, food security, climate change crisis, etc.
More than half of Pakistan’s population lives in rural areas with their livelihood depends on agriculture which provides 50% of employment. Women play a significant role in the rural workforce up to 40%.
Prof. Dr. Muhammad Saleem Mazhar, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Punjab University, said, it is a historic moment to partner with SAWIE in their journey to reach out to Three million farmers by 2025 to help improve their livelihood.
Pakistan is facing the burn of climate change affecting its food security and water availability. There is a need to develop disruptive solutions and capacity building of the rural population to take advantage of the industrial revolution of Industry4.0. The role of digital technologies is immense to support this revolution, digital agriculture could help us reach out to millions of farmers through our smartphone app, said Umer Farooq, Head of commercialization at SAWIE.
Eng. Mushtaq Gill, (Tamgha-e-Imtiaz), (CEO), SAWIE, said today’s MOU sets a road map of collaboration with such a prestigious institution for knowledge transfer, developing indigenous solutions to save water, soil, and plant health, and improving farmers income through the link with the supply chains.
Prof. Dr. M. Saleem Haider, Dean, Faculty of Agriculture sciences said, their faculty and students are very excited to work with SAWIE to showcase sustainable agriculture practices. This collaboration has set a direction for us to work together to help train our farmers in digital innovations.
Ms Rabeea Aftab, Director of SAWIE operations said, we are delighted to work with the university faculty and students to reach out to millions of farmers to improve their knowledge and understanding of the challenges posed to our food system by climate change.