The Southern arid zone districts of Pakistan hold great potential for agricultural produce. However, due to an inefficient irrigation system, a lot of that potential goes to waste.
It has been announced that a project worth $200m will be commencing to revitalize the irrigation system of several southern arid-zone districts in Punjab. The loan for this project is said to be used to develop a second branch, the Choubara system, in the Great Thal Canal irrigation scheme.
It is estimated that the scheme will be covering around 700,000+ hectares of land in the following areas: Khushab, Layyah, Muzaffargarh, Jhang, and Bhakkar. This will allow these districts to increase their productivity by growing a greater number of better crops. The first branch, known as the Mankera system, has already been developed.
The Choubara system discussed above will develop a 72 KM branch canal, 11 secondary canals which will cover 251 KMs, and 11 tertiary canals which will cover around 127 KMs.
Moreover, it has been reported that the Asian Development Bank will assist the Punjab government in initializing and executing the plan for this scheme. Along with the development of the Choubara system, they will develop ” on-farm agricultural command areas, pilot water conservation technologies such as land leveling and high efficiency irrigation systems and train farmers in water management and climate-resilient agricultural practices” (TheNews.com.pk).
This is an amazing news for the farmers of Punjab’s southern arid-zone. We also recommend all of our farmers to let the government construct this system smoothly as it will only result in good things for them.