Join Zafar Masud at the Exciting Agri Connections 2024

Agri Connections 2024

Join us at Agri Connections 2024 for the ZarZaraat Agri Startup Pitches Competition, sponsored by The Bank of Punjab.

Get insights from industry leaders like Mr. Hadi Rizvi, Chairman of Pakistan Agricultural Coalition, and Syed Yawar Ali, Chairman of Nestle Pakistan. Don’t miss out on the pitches from the top 3 finalists and engage in investor’s questions. Plus, an insightful address by Mr. Zafar Masud, President & CEO of The Bank of Punjab.

Pakistan Agricultural Coalition’s Agri Connections 2024 Wraps Up, Leaving Legacy of Renewed Focus on Agriculture’s Future

The 2-day Agri Connections 2024 conference, held at the Expo Centre Hall No. 1 in Lahore, concluded on April 25th, 2024, leaving behind a wave of optimism for the future of Pakistan’s agricultural sector. Organized by the Pakistan Agricultural Coalition (PAC), the event served as a platform for industry leaders, policymakers, and stakeholders to discuss critical issues and chart a course for progress.

About the Pakistan Agricultural Coalition (PAC)

The PAC is a not-for-profit organization established to serve as a catalyst for positive change in Pakistan’s agricultural sector. Recognizing the agricultural industry’s vital role in the country’s sustainable economic development, the PAC works to bridge gaps and connect various stakeholders.

Core Functions of the PAC

  • Leadership and Vision: The PAC strives to provide a unified leadership vision for the agricultural sector. This includes identifying key challenges and opportunities, and advocating for policies that promote long-term growth and prosperity.
  • Collaboration and Partnerships: The PAC fosters collaboration between diverse stakeholders within the agricultural landscape. This includes farmers, agribusinesses, government agencies, research institutions, and NGOs. By facilitating open communication and collaboration, the PAC aims to create a more cohesive and effective agricultural ecosystem.
  • Knowledge Sharing and Capacity Building: The PAC recognizes the importance of knowledge sharing and capacity building for the advancement of Pakistani agriculture. The organization facilitates the exchange of best practices, promotes innovation, and supports initiatives that equip farmers and other stakeholders with the knowledge and skills needed to thrive in the modern agricultural landscape.

Focus on Labor and Technology

This year’s Agri Connections 2024 placed a particular emphasis on labor, recognizing it as a crucial factor in the sector’s long-term success. Discussions explored challenges like attracting and retaining skilled workers in an agricultural landscape increasingly influenced by technology. Panelists addressed the need for skills development programs that equip farmers with the knowledge and expertise to operate effectively in a technology-driven environment.

Embracing Innovation for a Sustainable Future

Beyond labor, the Agri Connections 2024 conference championed sustainable practices. Experts highlighted the importance of techniques that ensure agricultural productivity without compromising environmental well-being. This focus on sustainability aligns with the PAC’s mission of promoting a long-term vision for Pakistani agriculture. Specific topics in the Agri Connections 2024 included water conservation strategies, soil health management, and the adoption of renewable energy sources in agricultural operations.

Read more: Sustainable Agriculture — Part I

High-Profile Participation and a Call to Action

The conference attracted prominent figures, including Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Finance, Muhammad Aurangzeb. In his address, Mr. Aurangzeb pointed to the country’s improving economic outlook as an opportunity for the private and financial sectors to invest in agriculture. He emphasized that robust economic indicators pave the way for significant advancements in the field, urging investment in infrastructure, technology, and farmer education.

Aurangzeb’s speech resonated with the conference’s overall message: Pakistani agriculture is ripe for transformation. The event aimed to inspire participants to take action and contribute to this positive change. This call to action extended beyond the conference walls, with attendees encouraged to implement the knowledge and connections gained to make a tangible difference in their communities.

Platform for Innovation and Investment

Agri Connections 2024 wasn’t just about discussion; it was also a launchpad for innovation. The event featured a dedicated exhibition space where startups and established businesses showcased their latest agricultural technologies and solutions. This exhibition provided a valuable platform for entrepreneurs to connect with potential investors and collaborators. The conference also featured a series of pitching sessions, where startups presented their ideas to a panel of judges for a chance to win funding and mentorship. This initiative underscores the PAC’s commitment to fostering a dynamic and future-oriented agricultural sector.

ZarZaraat Agri Startups Pitches Competition at Agri Connections 2024

A highlight of the conference was the ZarZaraat Agri Startups Pitches Competition at Agri Connections 2024. This competition provided a platform for early-stage startups working on innovative solutions for Pakistan’s agricultural sector to showcase their ideas. The competition was open to startups across various areas, including precision agriculture, on-farm automation, digital marketing for farmers, and sustainable agricultural practices.

Dozens of startups applied to the competition, and a select few were chosen to pitch their ideas to a distinguished panel of judges. The esteemed judges played vital roles in the competition:

  • Introduction to ZarZaraat by Mr. Hadi Rizvi, Chairman, Pakistan Agricultural Coalition (PAC): Mr. Rizvi kicked off the ZarZaraat segment, highlighting its significance in fostering innovation for Pakistan’s agricultural future.
  • The ZarZaraat Process by Syed Faraz Anwar, Partner, A.F. Ferguson & Co.: Mr. Anwar elucidated the selection process for the ZarZaraat competition, ensuring transparency and identifying the most promising startups.
  • Jury Decisions: Chief of the ZarZaraat Jury, Syed Yawar Ali, Chairman, Nestle Pakistan: Mr. Ali led the esteemed panel of judges who evaluated the competing startups based on specific criteria and played a key role in selecting the winner.
  • Address by Mr. Zafar Masud, President & CEO — The Bank Of Punjab: While not directly involved with the ZarZaraat competition, Mr. Masud’s address likely focused on the financial institution’s perspective on supporting agricultural innovation and potentially alluding to their support for the competition or future endeavors.

The winner of the ZarZaraat Agri Startups Pitches Competition at Agri Connections 2024 received a cash prize, mentorship from industry veterans, and valuable media exposure. This recognition not only provided the winning startup with a significant boost but also served as an inspiration to other entrepreneurs working on agricultural innovations in Pakistan.

Looking Ahead

While Agri Connections 2024 has concluded, its impact is likely to be long-lasting. The conference has reignited a national conversation about the importance of agriculture and the steps needed to ensure its sustained growth. With a renewed focus on labor, sustainability, and innovation, Pakistan’s

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