Pakistan agriculture is characterized by dominance of five crops i.e. wheat, cotton, rice, maize and sugarcane, and is predominantly lacking use of precision technologies. Our climate and land features provide enormous opportunities for expansion of new crops and support the use of modern technologies for global competitiveness. The agricultural transformation from narrow crop base and conventional technologies needs shift to new crops and precision technologies. With digital technology, the world is becoming ever more informed. Technological progress has delivered smart devices that are smaller, faster and inexpensive. While computing and sensor technologies are in use in the developed world for the last two decades, their application in agriculture in Pakistan has not been fully utilized. Several opportunities for customizing these sensor technologies and building the technical capacities exist within fields relevant to agriculture. These fields include precision agriculture, bioinformatics, genomics, agricultural data analytics and market intelligence. We are proposing Precision Agriculture and Analytics Lab (PAAL) at the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) to bridge the technological and data related gaps in Pakistan’s agriculture. The lab with three domains (Precision Agriculture, Agri. Bioinformatics and Data Science) will bring forward cutting edge precision agriculture, IoT, big data tools, bioinformatics and climate science to reach one common objective of sustainably increasing agricultural productivity.
UAF is the flagship agriculture university in Pakistan. It is the largest and oldest agriculture university that has strong linkages with other universities and research organizations within and outside Pakistan. It has more than 100 MOUs globally. It has a purpose built ICT department funded by by HEC through PSDP. That ICT center will complement the precision agriculture and analytics lab. Moreover, UAF is contributing 200 Million PKR worth of equipment and 500 Million PKR worth of infrastructure at US-Pakistan Center for Advanced Studies in Agriculture and Food security, for precision agriculture and analytics lab developed through this initiative.
Prof. Dr. Iqrar Ahmad Khan is the Distinguished National Professor and Ela Bhatt Professor-Germany in the area of Horticulture, Dr. Khan is foreign qualified teacher. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of California, Riverside where he was placed on the Honour Rolls.
Dr. Khan has supervised 84 MSc and PhD students from 6 countries. He established a Centre of Agricultural Biochemistry and Biotechnology and secured numerous research and development projects. Dr. Khan has released a potato variety (PARS-70), pioneered the research on breeding seedless Kinnow and discovered two new botanical varieties of wheat. He was author of STED funded Citrus Nursery Project launched at UAF.
He was instrumental in developing international/regional mango research program to combat the sudden death of mango. In a 2007 paper on the causal organism of mango death, his team illustrated new information which must count as a discovery. MINFAL has notified Khan as National Mango Coordinator.
Dr. Khan also contributed to International level publications on various aspects of agriculture. He elevated UAF as top professional alma-mater in HEC ranking. He also inked more than two dozen MOUs to co-operate with international universities and research organizations. He has vast experience in Agricultural research, teaching and administration. He was decorated with Sitara-i-Imtiaz in 2011 because of his meritorious services in the field of agriculture.
TEAM LEAD PRECISION AGRICULTURE
TEAM LEAD PRECISION AGRICULTURE
AGRI. BIOINFORMATICS TEAM LEAD
TEAM LEAD DATA SCIENCE