Water shortage for irrigation would effect the production of crops of Kharif season in irrigation zone Multan Punjab and agriculture department urged upon farmers to shift their focus on modern and efficient ways of irrigation.
According to irrigation department sources, Pakpattan canal system (upper) which irrigates districts Pakpattan and Vehari, faced water scarcity of 45 percents. Similarly, Pakpattan canal (lower) which irrigates Lodhran and Vehari, and it was faced with 25 percent shortage. Mailsi canal 26 % (irrigation area Lodhran-Vehari) , Sidhnai 16 % (Multan-Khanewal) and Haveli internal (Shorkot) is facing 29 % shortage.
Cotton, sugarcane, jowar, maize, soybean and some other crops are cultivated during Kharif season and thus the water shortage could affect enhanced production of the crops this year.
According to XEN Irrigation Chaudhary Muhammad Zahid, the total demand of water is 11.613 million acre feet and the region is getting 7.909 million acre feet water for the on-going early Kharif season.
When contacted assistant director agriculture information, Naveed Asmat Kahloon how to counter this water scarcity, he informed that the Punjab government had launched various schemes to ensure efficient use of irrigation water.
He claimed that the water scarcity issue could be resolved by adopting high efficiency irrigation drip and sprinkler system. He informed that Punjab government was offering 60 percent subsidy on drip and sprinkler system in order to facilitate the farming community.
Similarly, 80 subsidy is being given on solar tubewells. About benefits of drip and sprinkler irrigation system, Naveed informed that it was highly effective.
If one acre is irrigated by conventional flood irrigation way, then the farmers could irrigate 20 acres with the same water, in case they shift their focus on modern drip irrigation system.
Drip irrigation system offers only required water to crops and similarly, it also increases efficacy of fertilizers applications. The drip irrigation system also discouraged growth of weeds in the field.
The drip irrigation system was installed at 10,000 acres in the region with assistance of government. He added that it was getting popular among the farmers.
To a query what farmer should do who lacked drip irrigation system in their fields, the assistant director Naveed Asmat Kahloon suggested that the farmers should cultivate crops on beds and furrows.
The water channels should also be kept clean from all sorts of silt. The farmers should not allow bathing of animals in water channels as some time the animals sit in middle of water tributeries and thus affect flow of water.