SAFBIN is supporting smallholder farmers to integrate drip technology into their farming systems that will enable them to cost-effectively increase yields and quality, while maximising water use efficiency. Drip irrigation positively impacts the environment by improving water use efficiency, improving crop productivity, reducing soil erosion. Punjab province in Pakistan has been facing severe water shortage for irrigation for the past many years and there is inefficient use of available resources.
Under SAFBIN Program, Caritas Pakistan supported the smallholder farmers to install ten drip irrigation units in ten different villages of district Sargodha & Khushab. Helping farmers to switch to drip irrigation is one way to address prevailing inefficient water practices. Unlike flood irrigation, which applies water indiscriminately to a field in large quantities, drip irrigation supplies water directly to the crop’s root zone using a network of pipes and tubes.
Through SAFBIN Program, smallholder farmers were provided with all the materials required for drip irrigation in which the farmers shouldered the land and labour cost; while experts from the government agricultural extension department provided their technical support in installation process. It sets a new trend among people concerning adaptation of this water-saving technology in the water-stressed areas like Sargodha and Khushab. These new water saving technique will be key to the future survival of small holder farmers, who face growing water shortages
“In view of the effects of climate change on agriculture, there is a need to bring high value crops under drip irrigation as well as solar pumping irrigation” said Jaffar Hussain a project farmer from 79 MB, Sargodha.