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Dera Brings the Internet to Farmers in Pakistan, Narrowing the Rural-Urban Divide

In Pakistan, like many other developing countries, there exists a significant gap between rural and urban areas when it comes to access to the Internet. However, Dera, a pioneering initiative, is working towards bridging this digital divide by bringing the internet to farmers in rural Pakistan. Through innovative solutions and community-based approaches, Dera is empowering farmers with information, resources, and opportunities that are transforming their lives and narrowing the rural-urban divide.

Pakistan's agriculture sector is the backbone of its economy, employing a large percentage of the population. However, farmers in rural areas often face challenges such as a lack of access to information, limited market opportunities, and low productivity due to outdated farming practices. The internet has the potential to address these challenges by providing access to information, knowledge, and resources that can enable farmers to make informed decisions and improve their farming practices. However, the lack of internet infrastructure in rural areas has been a major barrier to bridging this gap.

Dera, which means "village" in Urdu, is an innovative initiative that was launched in 2019 with the aim of bringing the internet to farmers in rural Pakistan. Dera recognizes the unique challenges faced by rural communities and has developed tailored solutions to address these challenges. The initiative is based on a community-driven approach, involving active participation from local farmers, stakeholders, and partners to co-create solutions that are relevant and effective.

One of the key components of Dera's approach is the establishment of community-based internet hubs, known as "Dera Tech Centers," in rural areas. These centers are equipped with internet connectivity, computers, and other relevant resources, and are managed by trained local operators who are familiar with the needs and challenges of the community. The centers provide farmers with access to information on weather forecasts, market prices, crop management practices, and other agricultural-related information through the in Internet

The impact of Dera's efforts has been remarkable. Farmers who previously had limited access to information are now able to access real-time data and make informed decisions about their farming practices. This has resulted in improved crop yields, increased market opportunities, and enhanced income for farmers. Farmers are also able to access online training and educational resources to learn about modern farming techniques, crop diversification, and other sustainable farming practices, leading to increased productivity and sustainability.

Moreover, Dera has also leveraged partnerships with various stakeholders, including government agencies, private sector companies, and NGOs, to expand its impact. For example, Dera has collaborated with telecommunication companies to provide affordable internet packages tailored to the needs of rural farmers, making it more accessible and affordable. Dera has also partnered with agricultural experts and institutions to provide specialized knowledge and expertise to farmers, helping them improve their farming practices and adopt sustainable methods.

In addition to the direct benefits to farmers, Dera has also contributed to narrowing the rural-urban divide in Pakistan. The internet has the potential to unlock opportunities in various areas, including education, health, finance, and e-commerce. By bringing the internet to rural areas, Dera is helping rural communities access these opportunities, enabling them to participate in the digital economy and reduce the disparity between rural and urban areas.

Furthermore, Dera has also created a sense of empowerment among rural farmers. By providing them with access to information and resources, Dera has empowered farmers to take control of their farming practices, make informed decisions, and improve their livelihoods. This has resulted in increased confidence, self-sufficiency, and resilience among farmers, who are now able to adapt to changing market dynamics and climate conditions more effectively.

In conclusion, Dera's pioneering efforts in bringing the internet to farmers in rural Pakistan have been transformative.

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