Rawalpindi-Five-day hands-on training on Variable Rate Spraying Technology Development (Phase-I) under the PSDP funded project titled “Pilot Project for Data Driven Smart Decision Platform for Increased Agriculture Productivity (DDSDP)” ended at Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUR) on Monday.
The training workshop was organised with an aim to develop capacity building of young scientists, researchers, post-graduate students, industry and farmers on variable rate spraying technology development. This training will also provide an opportunity to develop consortium of researchers across the country for developing precision and digital agricultural technologies at farm level,
Prof. Dr. Qamar-uz-Zaman Vice Chancellor PMAS-AAUR, while addressing the participants said that a large population in the country is associated with the agriculture sector and there is dire need to develop modern precision and digital technology that will help in reduction in poverty and ensure the food for the ever-increasing population. Vice Chancellor emphasized linkages between academia, industry, and end users by equipping them with modern precision and digital technologies. He said PMAS-AAUR will provide every support for the capacity building of the human resources in the province and particularly in Potohar region.
The project Director of PSDP funded project of “DDSDP” Dr. Muhammad Naveed Tahir introduced the audience about the training workshop on variable rate technology (VRT). He said that VRT offers an opportunity to improve production efficiency by allowing input applications in amounts and locations where they are needed. The basic idea of VRT is to allocate agricultural inputs more efficiently by exploiting spatial variations in soil type, topographic features, fertility levels, and other field characteristics. Variable rate application includes GPS and GIS map-based, “on-the-go” sensor-based, or a combination of map and sensors. In recent years, real-time technology has been introduced into the practice of spraying variable weedicides, pesticides, and fungicides.
The training covered different technical and hands-on sessions for the trainees including VRT design development, sensor detail and features, assembling of the sensors, configuration and using Artificial Intelligence, and deep learning techniques for developing automated variable rate spraying technology. A field demonstration was also arranged for the participants. Resource Person Engr. Mr. Hassan Afzaal from University of Prince Edward Island, (UPEI) Canada, was invited as resource person in this training workshop. He trained the participants with great dedication and participants also showed great interest in learning advanced technology. A wide range of personnel from academia, research organizations, industry, and farmers from different part of the country participated.