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Rs 315 million drip irrigation project to be launched

ISLAMABAD (November 08 2007): Nuclear Institute for Agriculture and Biology of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission will launch two years drip irrigation pilot project in selected areas of all the provinces, Fata, Northern Areas, Fana and Azad Kashmir for enhancing agriculture production.

The project will cost Rs 315 million in two years and helpful in indigenization of drip irrigation technology to enhance farm productivity, resource use efficiency and sustainable use of brackish ground water in different agro climatic zones.

With central command and control unit at Nuclear Institute for Agriculture and Biology (NIAB) Faisalabad, the project will be implemented at selective locations in all the four provinces, AJK and Northern Areas (NA).

The drip irrigation system will be installed on 1000 acres land comprising 40 percent area in Punjab, 20 percent in Balochistan. 20 percent in Sindh. 10 percent in North West Frontier Province (NWFP) and 10 percent in AJK and NA.

The overall objective is to maximise agricultural productivity at the project sites through drip irrigation technology ensuring quality produce and production systems with high resource use efficiency.

The installation of drip irrigation system in different agro climatic zones, optimise resource use efficiency, most particularly irrigation water, to familiarise and provide technical support, education to potential drip irrigation farmers and minimising environmental cost of green revolution are included in the project.

The official told APP that the need for efficient use of irrigation water has been realised at all levels, particularly by the farmers due to prevailing water shortage.

He said flooding is the conventional irrigation system practised by the farmers and its efficiency is not more than 50 percent. The promotion of micro, high efficiency irrigation systems, initially for high value crops, would allow minimising water losses besides enhancing crop productivity, he added.

Introduction of drip and sprinkler systems can result in 40 45 percent increase in water use efficiency over traditional system and water thus saved which can be used to irrigate additional area as well as increasing crop yields, he said.

The sources added that the drip irrigation system would reduce application of fertilisers and water since these inputs are applied near the root zone and not to the field as a whole.

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