Pakistan. World Bank to provide Rs 48.5 billion loan to PIPIP


The World Bank will provide Rs 48.5 billion loan to Punjab government for 'Punjab Irrigated-Agriculture Productivity Improvement Project (PIPIP)' at an estimated cost of Rs 80.2 billion to improve irrigation technology including drip/sprinkler irrigation system.

According to documents available with Business Recorder, the project would be implemented by On Farm Water Management (OFWM) Directorate on the basis of participatory approach and through contractors and suppliers. The project is related to water scarcity and increased poverty in the backward irrigated areas.

The World Bank would give Rs 48.5 billion loan (60.5 percent of total cost) while Rs 31.7 billion (39.5 percent of total cost) would be the contribution of farmers for the project. The project would be completed in nine years. The Central Development Working Party (CDWP) has approved the project.

The World Bank during supply chain survey in Pothohar region under proposed Pothohar Climate Smart Irrigated Agriculture Project (PCSIAP) has identified that there was dire need to support the farmers in resolving marketing issues through interventions like provision of equipment/machinery for initial processing of fruits and vegetables and developing linkages between growers and processor/exporters etc. The issues of processing, marketing and value chain management have been incorporated in the project.

The total surface water allocation for Punjab as per Provincial Water Accord of 1991 is 55.94 MAF. However, Punjab is receiving about 50 MAF due to huge water losses in the distribution network comprising main/branch canals. Distributaries, minors, and tertiary conveyance systems of about 59,000 watercourses have been documented/estimated.

The project activities envisage rehabilitation/completion of improvement works on 6,000 canal irrigated watercourses, development/rehabilitation of 4,000 irrigation schemes outside the canal command and provision of 6,000 additional LASER units to the farmers/service providers to precisely level their fields and completion of installation of drip/sprinkler irrigation system on 120,000 acres. These would further strengthen the ongoing efforts of upgrading the farm level water conveyance infrastructure and making the farmers well equipped with improved irrigation technologies together with creating an enabling environment for sustained technology transfer at the grassroots level for optimal and efficient management of available water resources as well as providing support for processing and marketing of the agricultural produce to get better returns. The expected outputs/outcomes of the PIPIP-Revised show key interventions envisaged under the project vis-à-vis its primary benefits.

After completing the project, 40 percent water would be saved and 100 percent crop yields would increase while 40 percent use of fertilizer would be reduced. The net farm income would increase by Rs 58,000 per acre per annum and vegetables would be picked 10 to 15 days early.

The OFWM staff would provide technical support/services to the farmers for sustainability of the envisaged work after the completion/expiry of warranty period. The proposed technologies have long life ranging from 10 to 20 years.


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