The Punjab government has approved a Rs36.9 billion project for introducing modern technology in irrigation system to give a significant boost to the agricultural sector, which has faced water shortage over the past few years.
The Punjab Irrigated Agriculture Productivity Improvement programme, spanning over six years, will be executed in collaboration with the World Bank.
The provincial government will provide laser levellers, agricultural machinery, equipment and tube wells. It will also provide funds for farmers for purchasing equipment and machinery.
Under the programme, around 7,000 water courses will be constructed including 5,500 regular water channels and 1,500 additional channels, which will be completed in six years. Water Management Programme District Officer Faisalabad Basheer Randhawa told The Express Tribune that the Punjab government would provide 3,000 laser levellers at subsidised rates.
The government would also introduce drip irrigation in the non-irrigated area of 120,000 acres in the province, he said, adding 58 water courses would irrigate agricultural lands in Faisalabad this year.
In addition to this, 400 acres of land have been marked for drip irrigation in Faisalabad this year. He said every year quota would be determined for each district in Punjab.
Farmers expect the project to help ease their problems as the irrigation system is the key to improving per acre yield.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 23rd, 2011.
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