A Pakistani agritech startup has introduced a machine that uses artificial intelligence to grade fruits, vegetables and dates to help farmers and industry that will help boost exports and modernize the South Asian nation’s agricultural practices.
The CEO of the agritech company said that the firm is in contact with farmers in several Middle Eastern countries to sell their technology there.
Another such startup is Industrial Vision Systems that uses a portable artificial intelligence machine to scan fruits and vegetables through a camera that is connected to a computer. This machine grades items and also points out defects and generates a complete dataset based on their quality.
Saad Tanveer Ahmed, a co-founder of the startup said, “The better the quality of your produce, the better the report you get from the machine, allowing farmers to get fair compensation for the hard work they have put in [to grow them],”he added, By identifying defects in the produce, the machine allows farmers to “take informed decisions to sell their crop.”
He further talked about the relevancy of the product in the international market, he said that the Pakistani agritech was in touch with a number of date farmers in Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE to implement the technology there.
“They have told us this would be a godsend for them,” Ahmed said. “This would allow them to grade the dates by cutting the labor cost and human shortcomings.”
On Monday, Dr. Javed Humayun, senior joint secretary at the Ministry of National Food Security and Research said that modern technology was vital to enhance Pakistan’s yield and farmers’ income and exports, and “that’s why we have been working closely on agricultural technology transfer from China and South Korea.”
“We don’t have any special funds allocation to support agritech startups, but we do encourage young researchers and scientists to come up with innovative technologies to help modernise our agriculture sector, create job opportunities for youth and ensure the food security,” Humayun said.
“The demand for the advanced technology is very high in the agricultural industry, but unfortunately we lag behind the developed world,” said Waheed Ahmed, patron-in-chief of the All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetables Exporters Association.