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30,000 Solar Systems Installed for Tube Wells and Drip Irrigation (Courtesy PAR)
The Government of Pakistan has installed thirty-thousand solar systems for tube wells and drip irrigation across Pakistan in a bid to enhance the efficiency of agricultural practices in the country. Dr. Majeed, the Country Head of International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) spoke about the recent developments, while addressing a training workshop at National Agriculture Research Council (NARC) Islamabad today. The workshop, titled ‘Water Evaluation, Testing and Treatment’, was organized by Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) in collaboration with USAID, ICARDA and US Department of Agriculture. The ICARDA country head said that the project is being carried out across the country. Both federal, as well as provincial governments, are cooperating in this regard. He said the government of Punjab has also included the water quality project in its policy and has approved the installation of solar pumping systems. Modern Irrigation Techniques Dr. Majeed further said that they have introduced new irrigation techniques which include roof-top rain water harvesting, irrigation tunnels, drip bucket irrigation, gypsum application to soil and solar pumping for higher efficiencies. The implementation of newer and more efficient techniques in irrigation has produced positive results, he said. Increasing Demand for Solar Power This development is directly in line with increasing solar panel demand in Pakistan. The demand has increased from 350 megawatts (MW) per year in 2013 to around 1500 MW in 2017. Loadshedding as well as increasing penetration has lead to the government looking for alternative methods of power generation.
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