China-backed SPCAI to promote use of AI in agriculture: Official

By Khalid Aziz | Gwadar Pro Nov 27, 2021

ISLAMABAD, Nov.27(Gwadar Pro) - The Sino-Pak Centre for Artificial Intelligence(SPCAI) is teaming up with the industry and farmers to introduce AI-powered equipment and procedures in agriculture for enhanced productivity.

This was stated by Madiha Aslam, program manager at SPCAI while talking to Gwadar Pro.

Located near Islamabad, in the Haripur district of KP province, SPCAI is an ambitious endeavor of the provincial government for building the national capacity of research and development in AI  with China's help. "We have active collaboration with Chinese universities for research in artificial intelligence and the use of AI in different sectors,” Madiha said.

She said that SPCAI will work to promote the use of AI in the agriculture, healthcare, and power sectors. “However, as agriculture is the backbone of our economy and a major component of China-Pakistan cooperation under CPEC, we are focusing on this field as a starting point,” she added.

“We are presently aiming at establishing a soil testing lab inside our center together with other required facilities to monitor the soil and climate of the area. The findings will be analyzed through AI for gauging the exact requirements for any crops including water, fertilizer, and pesticides, etc.,” Madiha explained. This model will be later promoted throughout the country for enhancing per acre yield as well as the quality of crops, she said.

“We have formed a focus group comprising farmers of the Mang area of Haripur, and two prominent private technology companies, to expose the farmers to modern AI-based agricultural equipment. The farmers will also present their issues and requirements at the forum to help these firms come up with suitable solutions,” she said. “We held the first focus group meeting in this regard in the early days of the current month,” she added.

Madiha said that the agriculture sector has always been ignored in Pakistan despite its huge capacity. The use of AI in the agriculture sector is a must to enhance productivity and quality of crops in the country, she said.

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