By Engr. Rehan Saeed
The unmanned and tiny aeroplane has helped transform dimensions of agriculture. Seeding, monitoring and spraying can be done with the help of drones, saving time as well as labor costs. Many countries, including developed as well as developing, have started to reap the benefits of drones.
The use of drone in Pakistan is in its initial phase owing to not having concrete policies over drone technology as it is a sensitive issue with regard to security matters. But as now Prime Minister has ratified the establishment of Civil Drone Authority, a hike in the production of drones will be seen within a few months. Considerably, a handsome initiative it is.
In July 2020 the Federal minister of science and technology gave the assurance that he would take the Prime Minister into confidence regarding issuance of permits to private companies in the formation of drones because at that time Pakistan was lacking a regulatory framework and production of drones by private companies was totally banned.
Another issue is the communication gap between industries and engineering universities as they are working separate platforms. THe need of the hour is collaboration between industries and universities. Many a university, NUST being an example, is working efficiently in the field of drones.
As currently the Pakistan government and higher education commission are focusing on the exchange of agricultural development and particularly the transfer of technology from China in the contest of CPEC, it is the high time to demand such technology like drones, remote sensing, modern and efficient harvesting technology and post-harvest technology in all branches of agriculture including crops, fruits, vegetables, poultry, dairy and agricultural machinery.
Revolution in agriculture is indispensable to meet the challenges of overpopulation. Now with the help of a drone one can spray up to ten acres in just an hour. Manually it would take an hour per acre with less accuracy as well as less efficiency. The Science and Technology Minister announced on social media that Pakistan has prepared drones for the agriculture sector, furthermore he quoted that drones have the capacity to spray 16 litres of pesticide in just 18 minutes and have the ability to mark the affected area as drones are well equipped with sensor technology too.
The curriculum is unable to meet the requirements of contemporary challenges of the digital world. Almost three decades have passed but the same obsolete technology techniques and gadgets are taught despite knowing the fact that efforts are being made to land on Mars.
Introduction of technology hubs can be useful to provide a centre to ones who have mastery in the field of technology so that bright minds can work together and there will be sharing of ideas, skills and knowledge among members. Competitions must be arranged and scholarships be given too. Initiatives are being taken by the current government to gather all likeminded people (in the field of technology) in one place.
There is no dearth of talent in Pakistan. But there is a deficiency of supportive role by the government, the masses and the media. Media and masses are interested in characters like the singers who became famous by clips peechay to dekho and pawri ho rhi hai to bring them to limelight rather than Syed Nabeel Haider, who introduced instant messaging app and a student belonging to Karachi who invented the speaking glove.
Another dilemma is those Pakistanis who learnt about modern technology after getting the degrees when they return back to Pakistan with the intention to serve the country with zest and zeal, they cannot find any opportunities as we are far behind in technology, we have a very few research institutes so they don’t have any option left except leaving Pakistan and going somewhere else where they have the opportunities and are in demand. As a result Pakistan is turning out to be a barren land.
As currently the Pakistan government and higher education commission are focusing on the exchange of agricultural development and particularly the transfer of technology from China in the contest of CPEC, it is the high time to demand such technology like drones, remote sensing, modern and efficient harvesting technology and post-harvest technology in all branches of agriculture including crops, fruits, vegetables, poultry, dairy and agricultural machinery as China has announced they have reached the target of feeding the 1.4 billion population with the local food production.