Lahore:Provincial Minister for Irrigation, Malik Ahmed Ali has said that achieving the target of cultivation of Kharif Crops especially cotton and rice is becoming difficult due to shortage of water in rivers. The officials of irrigation and agriculture departments have been directed to further improve water management and guidance to the cultivators keeping in view the shortage of water.
He was presiding over a high level meeting of Agriculture and Irrigation Departments at Committee Room of Assembly Hall, here today. Secretary Irrigation Khalid Masood Ch., Director General Agriculture (Extension) Dr. Anjum Ali and Director Agriculture Information Punjab Muhammad Rafique Akhtar besides officers of Irrigation and Agriculture Departments and provincial assembly members of various districts including Bahawalnagar, Rajanpur, Rahim Yar Khan and Mianwali.
Malik Ahmed Ali said that Pakistan economy depends on agriculture and there is no concept of agriculture without water. He said that after increase in temperature there is possibility of improvement of canal water due to snow melting on hills. He said at a large quantity of water from the rivers of northern Punjab has been provided to the rivers of Southern Punjab so that the farmers could cultivate cotton. He directed to officials of Irrigation Department to evolve strategy to cope with the water crisis, improve monitoring system, equal distribution of water among farmers and awareness to the cultivators with regard to new water crisis.
Secretary Irrigation gave a detailed briefing to the meeting regarding the current situation of water. Dr. Anjum Ali informed the meeting that the target of cotton crop was 62 lakh per acre, rice 43 lkh, sugarcane 18 lakh and target of seasonal corn was 9.5 lakh. He said tht 88 percent target has been achieved which is 12.5 percent less than the last year.