ST. LOUIS, Missouri — In 2023, poverty is endemic to much of Pakistan. According to the World Bank, 37.2% of the population lives on $3.65 or less a day. A 2018 article states that poverty levels are even worse in rural areas where up to 44% of households are living at the poorest level. In conjunction with the prevalence of general poverty, up to 20.5% of Pakistanis suffer from undernourishment. To help the country produce an adequate level of food, the implementation of drone farming in Pakistan could be the key to giving farmers a higher crop yield that would feed the entire population.
Pakistan’s Rural Poor
The majority of Pakistan’s population is rural, with only 37% of people living in urban areas. As a consequence, an estimated 42.3% of the population engages in agricultural work. Many lack access to adequate food and education. Pakistan’s rural poor also lack access to other basic necessities like health care, power, pure drinking water, proper housing, sanitation facilities and more, according to a 2018 article. Overall, there are several factors causing poverty within Pakistan including government corruption, natural disasters, and lack of infrastructure, but a general lack of economic opportunity is arguably the largest.
A potential solution that could be highly effective in eradicating malnourishment and poverty in Pakistan is drone farming.
This high-tech farming method has been recently utilized by farmers in developing countries such as India and Indonesia and, in the near future, the world may see drone farming in Pakistan as well.
Some of the benefits of drone farming include:
- More efficient crop monitoring
- Quick and precise application of fertilizers and pesticides
- Easily identify good soil for crop planting
- More environmentally friendly compared to other methods
- A quicker and easier way to plant crops
In general, the use of drone farming in Pakistan could allow farmers to produce more crops, quicker, while also ensuring their produce is safe and healthy to eat. This could give the poor and malnourished in Pakistan the ability to gain access to cheaper, higher-quality food and in turn, gain more nutrients and energy to take advantage of better economic opportunities.
In 2020, the Pakistani government took the first steps in spreading the use of agricultural drones when it established a Civil Drone Authority to allow for the regulation and production of drones by private companies.
Meanwhile, in 2022, agricultural technology company Syngenta Pakistan used drones for spraying pesticides on 5,000 acres of farmland, being the first to do so. In addition to this, Pakistan’s Ministry of Science and Technology signed an agreement to produce drones for dealing with locusts.
While it appears that drone farming in Pakistan may be well on its way to becoming an integral part of the nation’s agricultural sector, it’s likely at least several years off. To ensure the adoption of drone farming, there needs to be a continued push from both government officials and private investors to increase their production. In addition, the farmers need education on how to properly use them. But with some luck and effort, drone farming in Pakistan may soon become common enough to help its people take a giant step in eradicating hunger and poverty.
– Jonathon Crecelius