Iqra University received a research grant worth Rs 10.2 million for its project from the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan.

According to the IU press statement, the grant has been provided for a three-year project to advance smart farming with the use of smart technology. It is entitled “Smart Farming: An approach towards the development of efficient and effective urban cultivation testbed using smart technologies”, the project was submitted for funding by Dr Masroor Ebrahim from Iqra University.

This research project aims to increase and improve agriculture growth, ensure food security, increase productivity, cater to a wide variety of nutrition and organic products at low cost, and provide business opportunities by applying urban farming techniques with smart technologies.

“This research project will not only aid urban farming, but will also change the concept of traditional farming. It is a great initiative that will help us overcome various issues in the agriculture sector and positively impact Pakistan’s economy.

“I’m proud of our team at Iqra University for this initiative and grateful to HEC Research and Development Division for recognising the potential in this project. I’m positive that the outcomes of the proposed research will help us impact Pakistan’s economy positively,” said Dr Wasim Qazi, the Vice-Chancellor and President of Iqra University.

The research project plans to develop an urban farming test bed based on Hydro culture (Hydroponics) techniques. Incorporated with smart technology, it will provide an efficient, controlled and autonomous environment with the ability to cater to a wide variety of different plants.

The key outcomes of the proposed research project include immunization to weather and climate change, reduction in water usage, and improvement in the environment. It will also support the Government initiative of a green Pakistan by reducing human effort and improving plant health monitoring that will help yield better quality products and increase farmers’ profit due to increased market reach.

Author

Arshad Yousafzai is a Karachi-based journalist covering Education and Human Rights. He can be reached on Twitter @Arshadyousafzay

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