The minister for Irrigation/Chairman PIDA, Mian Yawar Zaman has said that the role of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in the success of irrigation sector projects in Punjab is highly pivotal. JICA has helped to develop the irrigation sector on most modern lines. The introduction of latest water saving techniques with the technical assistance of JICA will go a long way in saving canal water and improving agricultural productivity, he hoped.
He stated this while presiding over the closing session of a seminar on “Strengthening Irrigated Agriculture through Participatory Irrigation Management Project in Punjab” (SIAP) at a local hotel today. Besides a large number of farming community members, the First Secretary of Japan Embassy in Pakistan Mr. Yuichi Kuroda, Country Chief JICA Mr. Motoo Taki, Chief Irrigation Advisor Mr. Noryo Kyono, Capacity Buiding Specialist Mr. Takashi Fujisaki, Member P&D Board Dr. Abid Bodla, Additional Secretary Irrigation Khalid Hussain Qureshi, General Manager PIDA Afzal Anjum Toor, Chief Engineer Irrigation Chaudhary Muhammad Shafiq and concerned field officers also attended the ceremony.
Irrigation minister observed that the canal water is the main artery of whole irrigation system as it’s used for almost every agricultural activity. He said the canal water becomes ever more important in arid zones or in areas where underground water is brackish and unable for agricultural purposes.
“It is important to note that the irrigation system of Punjab is more than hundred years old and therefore, could not ensure a sufficient storage capacity to cope with the rising water needs of farmers. In the light of such circumstances, the Punjab government has decided to launch a comprehensive development plan to sensitize the farming community about canal water saving techniques.”
He expressed the satisfaction that keeping in view the importance of water management in Punjab; JICA has extended its all-out assistance to introduce latest water saving technologies by improving the professional capacity of officers working in irrigation and agriculture sectors at the grassroots.
The minister commended the good efforts of JICA and PIDA in achieving hundred percent results of SIAP and termed it as a proof of sheer commitment and sincerity of farmers and officers for the betterment of irrigation sector. The trained human resource under SIAP will keep on introducing the water saving techniques throughout Punjab, he hoped.
The minister also thanked JICA for assisting Punjab Government to improve the income of farmers and hoped that Japan Government will continue its support in future as well.
The representatives of JICA, P&D Board, Agriculture Department and PIDA including farmer representatives also spoke on the occasion and expressed their satisfaction over the quality of training.