Pakistan is dependent on Agriculture, a sector, that contributes over 22% to its GDP while employing over 42% of the nation’s labor force. Our rural people comprise more than 60% of the population and accounting for 80% of the country’s poor. These rural communities especially smallholding farmers are facing the risks and vulnerabilities due to climate change. These communities have limited landholdings, poor access to markets and financial credit or insurance, efficient and environment friendly farming inputs and support services. The agriculture sector also remains highly unorganized and this situation is challenging for smallholding farmer communities that lack access to any digital technology and mechanization usage. This situation is further constrained with patchy Internet connectivity where farmers rely mostly on guesswork for farming.
Smallholding farmers especially women face challenges due to market complexities and middlemen. We also have a high number young people who no more find agriculture as exciting and are fearing corporatization or real estate broker capture of the agriculture sector. These remote rural communities especially smallholding farmers, women and youth living in agriculture rich areas of Pakistan remain disconnected from the Internet and digital technologies as opposed to their urban counterparts. These communities are highly vulnerable to climate change and its devastating shocks including heat waves, droughts, locust attacks, rains, storms and floods. Being disconnected from the rest of the world and lacking digital resources, these communities are unable to counter the brunt of climate change and poverty that further add challenges to their livelihoods and sustainable survival.