BEIJING (November 19 2008): Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif said here on Tuesday that his government was serious in introducing the innovative drip irrigation technology to bring large desert areas under cultivation.
Talking to a delegation led by Director General National Center of Efficient Irrigation Engineering and Technology Research, Xinjiang Huang Yaoxin at a breakfast meeting, Shahbaz Sharif said that he wants to bring a large portion of desert areas located in Cholistan and Bahawalpur under cultivation through introduction of drip irrigation.
He enquired about the possibility of growing crops in these areas with the help of Drip Irrigation in Punjab on which the Director General of Technology Research replied that as far as his country is concerned the system proved very successful.
The Chief Minister invited a company delegation to Punjab to explore the possibility of the implementation of the project on fast track.
"I want to encourage Chinese entrepreneurs because they have latest technology as well as cost effective," he observed. Huang informed the Chief Minister that the drip irrigation system is suitable for growing cotton, fruits, wheat and many other crops. He said that in Xinjiang over one million hector of land being cultivated through this system.
Pakistan, he said could also use this technology for growing cotton, mango, wheat, etc "Give us demonstration of your plant as soon as possible, so that further headway could be made in this regard," Shahbaz Sharif said. Shahbaz Sharif also invited them to visit the desert areas of Punjab province to carry out survey in this regard.
"We will find out on our side prominent business community people to finance the Joint Venture in this field," Shahbaz Sharif assured. He further said that we must follow this project for the benefit of farming community and invited a delegation to Lahore for threadbare discussion on the project.
The delegation was told that Punjab government has envisaged a plan to lease out land for 30 years to the interested parties for agriculture and twenty interested parties have so far came out to join the project. The Chief Minister was informed that the investment made in this project would be return back within a period of 5-year. Later, an MoU of co-operation was signed between the Punjab government and the Research Institute in the presence of Chief Minister.