ISLAMABAD  - The PTA on Tuesday organized a workshop aimed at improving agriculture productivity through increased usage of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs).The workshop on “What Can Telecommunications Do for Agriculture” was organized in collaboration with LIRNEasia.The main theme of this joint initiative of PTA and LIRNEasia was to share international experiences and research with Pakistan, and to learn from successful telecom-agriculture models and improving agriculture productivity through increased usage of ICT.The event was well attended by representatives from agriculture organizations, international experts, agriculture consultants, policy-makers, government officials, farmers associations, telecom operators, value added service providers, agriculture credit departments and donor agencies.

 including World Bank, ADB, USAID, DFID working in the agriculture sector.In his opening remarks, Dr Muhammed Yaseen, Chairman PTA said agriculture is the backbone of Pakistan’s economy as it accounts for 21% of national income, employs 45% of the total workforce and provides livelihood to 60% of the rural community.He said the farmer’s access to relevant information and adoption of ICT and telecom value added services by rural community can bring revolution in the agriculture production.Similarly, Pakistan telecom sector is considered as an exemplary growth model around the globe and the agriculture sector can also be a model by adopting telecom and getting its benefits.He said,” today, we have total teledensity of more than 72% with 119.9 million mobile subscribers” and added that after success in e-commerce and branchless banking initiatives, the PTA was now encouraging the development of local content based mobile/ICT applications and willing to extend all sort of support to help the farmers through the provision of reliable and timely information, local content based applications, automation of agriculture production processes using specialized applications of mobile phones and ICT.