Water shortage compels Punjab to dissuade farmers from planting sugarcane crop

Water shortage during the early part of the Kharif season has risen to an alarming 45 percent from initial projections of 32 percent against average uses.

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LAHORE: Due to chronic water shortage of 45 percent, Punjab has been compelled to dissuade farmers from the planting of sugarcane and other water-intensive crops.

This was revealed by officials on Monday and sugarcane crop compared to cotton requires two times more water for growing, reported The News.

As per a senior official at provincial agriculture department, Punjab’s southern districts had been severely impacted by water shortage and farmers had the option of going for planting cotton instead of sugarcane.

The official added farmers were being advised to plant those crops which consumed less water in ongoing Kharif season.

And farmers in South Punjab have been directed to not plant sugarcane this year and whilst its cultivation was being dissuaded in rest of the provinces due to water shortage problems.

The official shared cultivable area under sugarcane could be decreased due to the country possessing surplus stocks of sugar.

He counselled the farmers to consider growing cotton in South Punjab as it consumes less amount of water.

And water scarcity has grown in the ongoing Kharif season, as the shortage during the early part of the season has risen to an alarming 45 percent from initial projections of 32 percent against average uses.

The irrigation official stated because of low river flows, water was being utilized from Mangla Dam for augmenting the fall in River Jhelum flow, whilst Tarbela Dam was about to hit dead level.

He added there was an effort to ensure prudent use of water from Mangla Dam for securing minimum supplies at Tarimmu Head and Panjnad Barrage since there wasn’t any additional water available from Indus Zone.