Need to construct Kalabagh dam, other reservoirs stressed

May 08, 2013 RECORDER

Need to construct Kalabagh dam
Need to construct Kalabagh dam

Agricultural sub committee of Multan Chamber of Commerce & Industry (MCCI) headed by Shahid Naseem Khokhar has stressed the need for construction of Kalabagh dam and other water reservoirs to save our agricultural economy which contributes 26 percent of GDP and 52 percent of the total populace is getting its livelihood from it.

67.5 percent people are living in the rural areas of Pakistan and are directly involved in it. The convener said that economy of Pakistan depends heavily on agriculture. Importance of this sector is manifold as it feeds people, provides raw material for industry and is the base of our foreign trade.

Foreign exchange earned from merchandise exports is 45 percent of total exports of Pakistan. Despite being the fifth richest country in water resources, Pakistan is estimated to be losing 13 million cusecs (approximately 368,119 cubic meters/second) of water every year from its rivers into the sea, as it does not have enough reservoirs or dams to store water.

Shahid Naseem Khokhar said owing to traditional methods of cultivation and harvesting, Pakistan has low yield per acre that means the average crop in Pakistan is just 1/4th of that of advanced states. Whereas Nepal, India and Bangladesh are using modern scientific methods to increase their yield per acre.

For this purpose, these states are using modern machines to improve their yield. Also, the small farmers are increasing in our country as the lands are dividing generation by generation. So, there are large number of farmers who own only 4 acres of land. These small farmers do not get credit facilities to purchase seeds, pesticides, fertilisers etc. On the other hand, water logging and salinity are increasing day by day. No effective measures have been taken to control it.

Therefore, the farmers are installing more and more tube wells to irrigate their crops. This is why salinity is becoming a major issue in most parts of Southern Punjab. It suggests that Small farmers must be focused. The major problems of small farmers should be solved first. Provision of latest machinery, pesticides, insecticides and fertilisers to such farmers must be ensured at subsidised prices. Consumer friendly policies must be formulated. They must be provided with accessible loans from banks. Productivity enhancement programmes must be constituted to adjust and support prices. Source Business Recorder

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