KARACHI / LAHORE: The government of Punjab, in collaboration with the World Bank, is encouraging drip irrigation in the province as part of ongoing Punjab Irrigated Agriculture Productivity Improvement Project in order to overcome water scarcity, said a spokesman for the Agriculture Department.
Under the project, he said, the department was installing drip and sprinkler irrigation systems on farms at subsidised charges.
Drip irrigation is suitable for crop cultivation when irrigation water or rainwater is scarce for conventional farming. This technology has so far been adopted by many farmers across Punjab because of acute shortage of river water and limited rainfall.
The spokesman underlined the need for creating awareness among farmers of the drip irrigation system keeping in view its high efficiency in conserving water, increasing per-acre yield and reducing cost of cultivation.
“With this technology, the farmers can save 60% of electricity and diesel costs as well as enhance per-acre yield by 100%. The government is helping farmers adopt this system by providing drip irrigation equipment at subsidised rates and 60% subsidy on installation,” he said.
Drip irrigation saves 40-50% of fertiliser consumption. Currently, the system is used for small-scale cultivation over 12.5 acres of land. However, other techniques and methods are being adopted to extend the programme for large-scale plantation.
“This technology is being provided to the farmers at subsidised rates with financial assistance of the World Bank. It is the need of the hour to move towards modern resource conservation practices such as drip irrigation to cope with water scarcity in upcoming years,” the spokesman added.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 16th, 2018.