Image Source: Islamabad Scene

Fatima Fertilizer’s Sarsabz Pakistan mobile app has marked a record number of over a hundred thousand downloads in its first ten months, making it the country’s fastest-growing mobile app within the agriculture sector. The mobile app – launched last year in the month of November – reflects on Fatima Fertilizer’s commitment to promoting agri-technology, in addition to their pledge to reach out to farmers and offer them relevant and useful information to empower them on making more informed decisions about their land and crops.

According to Rabel Sadozai, Director Marketing and Sales, Fatima Fertilizer, the success of Sarsabz Pakistan app indicates a dire demand for Pakistani farmers to modernize their farming practices through the use of technology and achieve maximum growth and efficiency.

“This app serves as a convincing prologue to the fact that digital transformation of Pakistan’s agriculture sector is the only way to realize its utmost potential so that it can play a pivotal role in reviving our over-stressed economy,” she says.

Despite the fact that Pakistan’s agri-sector moves nearly 20% of the country’s economy through crop production and related jobs, Sadozai believes, we are far from exploring the sector’s full potential to achieve self-sufficiency, and although our population might not see any drastic reduction anytime soon in our agricultural output, it is imperative that the country starts enhancing its food production by adopting modern practices at par with world practices and standards.

“It was with this very vision in mind that we introduced Sarsabz Pakistan app to harness the country’s immense agri-potential and transition from age-old farming practices towards precision-based farming methods, led by scientific knowledge and technology,” she says.

The Sarsabz Pakistan app features crop planning and management support to help manage multiple farms and crops in a given season by providing step-by-step alerts. It also has a fertilizer calculator that provides precise application of fertilizer according to the land and crop type, in line with the 4R rule (right source, right rate, right time, and right place). According to the company, the app is a one-stop solution for farmers to conveniently access information related to farming including video tutorials and guides, as well as customized assistance on best farm management practices.

Moreover, the app also updates farmers with crucial weather forecasts for timely planning and application of farm inputs, accessibility to fertilizer at company rates through a comprehensive list of nationwide Sarsabz dealers (along with their contact and location details), updates on current commodity market rates and latest news related to the agriculture sector.

The app’s content and information are consistently updated on its administrative dashboard, which is maintained by Fatima Fertilizer’s technical app development team.

Fatima Fertilizer also maintains a fleet of 75+ technical service officers (TSOs) working across the country at the territory level to engage with farmers on a daily basis. These officers are responsible for providing farm advisory services and support to farmers, as well as guiding them on using the Sarsabz Pakistan app to harness the potential benefits of its technical features to increase crop yield and productivity.

“During the initial launch period of this app, we also conducted a pilot trial with 300 farmers across the country who were able to use this app successfully and shared their positive feedback with the TSOs. Based on this successful trial, the app was launched online for all farmers with ongoing advisory and support from the TSOs,” adds Sadozai.

Moreover, since the brand key is farm focused, the TSOs not only train the farmers on using the app but also conduct sessions on the importance of using the app and learning through it. They hold small farmer meetings to larger seminars to build farmer confidence and train them, according to global standards.

“Fatima Fertilizer is the only company providing free-of-cost soil and water testing facilities to farmers in Pakistan, whereby they can request the company’s qualified agronomists through the app to visit their land site and collect water and soil samples for testing purposes. The test results are also shared with them through the app, which not only saves the farmers the entire hassle of visiting labs with the samples but also precious time which can be spent on tending to the crops,” says Sadozai.

The Sarsabz Pakistan mobile app is available to download on Google Play Store. The company is making consistent efforts to spread awareness about the app on digital media. A tutorial/hand-holding video on social media platforms was published, shortly after the launch of the app to educate farmers about its features, efficacy, and potential benefits. The app communicates with its users in Urdu language so the farming community can easily understand the advisory updates.

Going forward, the company plans to further enhance the app by allowing farmers to avail quick micro loans and lease farm machinery on easy terms so that farmers can procure and manage essential farm inputs in a timely and convenient manner.