Agriculture is the backbone of Pakistan’s prosperity and Concave AGRI is driven by its goal to empower this thriving sector of Pakistan. Farmers are a critical part of the agriculture ecosystem as their hard work promises a sustainable, equitable and progressing nation and economic development. For this reason, Concave AGRI’s highly experienced and motivated team, led by Dr Muhammad Ali Iqbal (President), alongside Dr Muhammad Azeem Khan (Chief Agriculture Advisor) Mr Qayash Bahadur (ex DG Department of Agriculture, Govt. of KP), Mr Younis Khan, (Representative for Farmers Management Committee), Mr Dinar Wali (Head of Partnerships, Sybrid) and Mr Mohsin H. Akhtar (Head of Operations – Strategic Initiatives, Sybrid), spearheaded an enlightening and informative session with 30 farmers from Swabi, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The meeting commenced on an introductory note which discussed Concave AGRI’s goals and aspirations as a brand before Dr Azeem delved into an informational and interactive discussion regarding the prospects of farming in this region. With maize, wheat, cotton, canola, sugarcane, vegetables, and fruits being the main crops around the region, Dr Azeem, through his commendable expertise, discussed modern farming techniques and touched on precision agriculture.
The session gave farmers a platform to express their concerns, especially regarding the availability and affordability of inputs which includes seeds, pesticides, DAP and other fertilizers. Retail of the produce at a lucrative price was also another pressing issue bought forward. Furthermore, farmers described the direct catastrophic impact of climate change on their produce as it has been resulting in low yield. Concave AGRI’s team diligently took notice of these obstacles being faced by the farmers in attendance and Dr Azeem proposed that only getting subsidies from the government on inputs isn’t the solution to overcoming this challenge. He explained that the real solution is to expand one’s horizon and implement newer, more improved, harvesting and processing techniques which will uplift quality and production, consequently increasing sales and revenues. Additionally, Concave AGRI, through its sub-brand Kissan Dukaan, offered supplying climate resilient input at a reasonable expense given their formal agreements with seeds, pesticides, and fertilizer companies.
The presentation by Dr Azeem went on to discuss other elements of farming including varied quality and prices of inputs, the legitimacy of pesticides and fertilizers, and ways to increase the productivity of yield on a limited piece of land with the right approach. Pea farming was chosen as an exemplary case study where he discussed the dynamics of seeds quality and types, methods of sowing using modern but moderate technologies and cultivation techniques, ensuring plant protection, and avoiding crop failure due to fungal diseases attacked on the crop root system, picking when its grown, possible multiple crop cycles and eventually commercialization of the crop.
The discussion also pivoted towards the current season’s maize crop being challenged by fall army worm attack and ways in which to tackle the problem while extensively conversing on the solutions in which next season’s crop of peas and wheat can be grown using the right tools, techniques, and inputs. With climate change threatening the well-being and food security of our agriculture sector, Concave AGRI felt a dire responsibility to ensure that the farmers in attendance are aware of possible solutions and methods to protect their crops during these weather abnormalities.
The meeting then approached a more economical aspect as farmers were informed of the upper hand they have in farming as compared to other developed countries where farmers are considered rich and are regulated by the state, Pakistani government has no such authority or regulations and hence gives our nation’s farmer advantage and independence.
Dr Azeem was then joined by Dr Ali Iqbal to take the floor and present the many services Concave AGRI provides to ensure farmer accessibility and progression. This included an emphasis on Concave AGRI’s assurity in supplying quality products on the market at competitive prices, offering solar system services to the farmers to save on fuel and Concave AGRI’s agreement with U Microfinance Bank which enables farmers to obtain loans, financial assistance, and crop insurance plans. It was deliberated that those present farmers who own a piece of land, 4-5 acres each, may dedicate 1 acre each for peas harvesting with the inputs, advisory and services provided by Concave AGRI.
The highly productive and beneficial dialogue concluded with many farmers signing up for WhatsApp advisory provided by Concave AGRI’s sub-brand, Kissan Madadgar, and committed to working with our brand during the harvesting process for supplies and expert opinion.
All present at the meeting were dedicated to this collaborative effort in increasing profitability and revenues.