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10 Jul 2017 | Blog

Irrigation schemes get a breath of fresh air in Pakistan

Zeeshan Tahir Virk & Abdul Wahab

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Research in agriculture is often looked at sceptically in developing countries, where it is believed that innovative technologies can only be adopted by large progressive farmers. This misconception prevails in all factions of our society ranging from simple farmers to high-level decision makers.

The HI-AWARE project aims at changing this idea by explicitly focusing on bringing into good use whatever research it conducts. It makes all efforts to ensure that the benefits of high quality research reach all types of end users.

In this case it concerns the farmers of Tehsil Talagang, District Chakwaal, in the Potohar Plateau. Talagang is a small town at the very downstream of the River Soan, one of HI-AWARE’s focus areas in Pakistan. The environment of the area is semi-arid for it receives only about 500-750 mm max rainfall per year. Surface water sources are limited due to the undulating topography of the Potohar Plateau, and groundwater is also very deep. Agriculture in this area is mainly rain-fed, so it is practiced on a limited scale. Despite large land holdings, the lack of adequate water availability limits agricultural production in the area.

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