Solar Changes 350 Acres of Kunar Rain-fed Land to Irrigated Land
By: Shujalhaq Noori
Irrigation through solar power changed 350 acres of Kunar rain-fed land to irrigated land. Kunar Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock Directorate says that the province is mountainous with less land but more mountains.
According to the directorate, they wanted to do something in order to get good result from less work. The directorate believes that in Kunar mountainous geography solar power give great result.
The directorate said that they asked for the budget last year to create solar power system in the province, which the government also approved their suggestion and granted them the money.
The solar power systems have been built for the residents of Watapor, Marawar, Sarakano, and Narang districts.
Enamullah Sapai, provincial agriculture director, said, “One of our priorities is to make more use of the Kunar River. So we tried to make more land green, manage the water in the Kunar River, and use solar power. We also changed rain-fed land to irrigated land. We intend to irrigate over 3,500 acres of land through this system in the coming years.”
Abdul Qodos, irrigation manager at the provincial agriculture directorate, said, “ We built 27 solar systems, changed rain-fed and dry-land to irrigated land; now people harvest in two seasons. The solar system is equipped with 24 pieces of solar glass, water reservoirs, pipe and other equipment.”
Qodos added, “People are very interested to the system, we have worked on the possibilities, after building these networks over 700 requests have come from people to build them such networks. The solar networks benefits 600 families. The solar systems have been built with the 80 percent of the Ministry’s share and 20 percent of residents’.
Mumtaz, one of the residents of Kunar’s Watapor, told Farmers’ Weekly, “Our rain-fed and dry lands have been greened due to these networks. Over seven acres of my land have been changed to irrigated land. In the past we used to cultivate rain-fed wheat but now we have built tangerine, peach, and lemon gardens. We also cultivate vegetable in portion of our lands. In the past all our works depended on rain but now we harvest two times a year. We ask the government to do such work more for us. People here are poor and destitute, thus; they need more cooperation.”
Kunar is a beautiful and agricultural province in the east of the country. Kunar River has provided a good base for agriculture for the people of the province. The Ministry of Agriculture is also trying to make much more use of these waters. Implementation of solar irrigation networks is an example of such activities.