Consequent to the framework collaboration agreement signed between Ministry of IT (MoIT) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of UN on 25 March 2020, to jointly work for the development of agriculture sector of Pakistan, using technology, ‘AgriSurge 2020 Innovation Challenge’ was virtually launched by Mr. Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui, Federal Secretary MoIT and Ms. Minà Dowlatchahi, FAO Representative in Pakistan.
The ceremony in this regard was held at the Ministry of IT & Telecom on Thursday. Senior officers of the Ministry of IT and Ignite were also present on the occasion.
Under the ‘AgriSurge 2020 Innovation Challenge’, Ignite in collaboration with FAO, has called for innovative solutions that can revolutionize the agriculture sector in Pakistan through 4th Industrial Wave (4IW) tech.
The competition is open for all with no age limit. The winning team will clinch a cash prize of Rs. 500,000/- while first and second runner-up teams will receive Rs. 300,000/- and Rs. 200,000/- respectively. The proposal submission deadline is set for July 14, 2020. The proposals can be submitted at www.ignite.org.pk/agrisurge.
Speaking on the occasion, Secretary IT Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui said that since the outbreak of COVID-19, Ministry of IT is consistently launching ICT centric initiatives in sectors that are critically devastated by the pandemic, be it health, education or agriculture.
He said that the agriculture sector has great importance in the economic development of Pakistan and the Ministry of IT will take every possible step for addressing the challenges and problems faced by the agriculture sector through technology interventions.
Last week we launched the National Education Challenge 2020 for the provision of education and increment of literacy rate in the face of a global educational and industrial shutdown, using technology.
Ms. Minà Dowlatchahi, FAO Representative in Pakistan, through video link, said that this is a great initiative, and leveraging 4IW Tech through youth and women engagement is a matter of urgency to unlock agriculture and water management transformation in Pakistan. Innovation, with youth and women engagement, is part of the solutions to accelerate the modernization and increased resilience of food systems, employment and stable income generation along the food supply chain and in rural areas, she said.
CEO Ignite, Syed Junaid Imam said,
We are challenging the ingenious minds of our country to come and innovate with us for a prosperous Pakistan. Through the challenge, we seek teams of talents to develop practical ICT-based solutions to tackle key problems in Pakistan’s agriculture sector. I urge women and youth to participate as we have kept a special cash prize for women majority team, conditional to the solution presented.