The traditional diesel (1.2 million) andelectric (0.2 million)driven tube wells are extracting excessive groundwater, costing billions of dollars of fuel bill and add millions of tons of CO2 to our environment, thus causing climate change and food security challenges. Around 50% water needs of rice crop are generally met using groundwater. Keeping in view these challenges solar driven high efficiency irrigation system has been demonstrated, capable of electrifying the farm house at Bannu in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa under the PM-AEP Productivity Enhancement of Rice.
A farmer field day on the use of solar energy for high efficiency irrigation (HEI) as well as household use was organized by the CEWRI sub-component of rice PSDP project on December 8, 2021 at village Paila/Nurar in Tehsil Mirian of Bannu district for around 100 local farmers.
Dr Ghani Akbar PSO/PI-CEWRIelaborated the rationaleof solar water pumping, HEI and conservation agricultural practices and shared technical guidance for its adoption. District Officers of Agricultural Extension (Mr. Khuda Yar), On Farm Water Management (Eng. Qayum Khan), Agricultural Engineering deptt (Eng. Sajadullah Khan), Soil and Water Conservation (Mr Zahidullah) also provided detailed information regarding the ongoing schemes and local support available for adoption of improved irrigation technologies.
Engr Zafar Islam SO/CEWRI and Engr Shahid Hameed Khalil SO/CEWRI informed about the issues, trouble shooting of solar pumping systems and practically demonstrated the solar powered HEIs on farm. The farmers took keen interest in the technologies and all their multiple queries related to adoption were answered in details. The farmers wreathe all the resource persons and were extremely thankful for the enhanced awareness/knowledge in theirarea, least developed area of the country.
Dr Ghani Akbar