Experts call for enhanced Pakistan, China B2B co-op

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BEIJING: The irrigation solutions promoted by a Chinese company have proved a success in demonstration zones in Pakistan. But a lack of investments has made it hard to popularise the efficient irrigation solutions, said Li Huijuan, senior engineer at National Water-saving Irrigation Engineering and Technology Research Center (Xinjiang) and manager of the International Water-saving Department at Xinjiang Tianye Group.
This view is echoed by Dr Gong Shihong, Deputy-Director of Department of Irrigation and Drainage, China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research (IWHR).
A single company is too fragile to transform the entire sector.
The Pakistani government should incentivise more companies to invest in the popularisation of efficient irrigation solutions, said Dr Gong, who led a delegation to hold training sessions on high efficient irrigation in Pakistan.
A second factor lies in the limited range of efficient irrigation solutions available in Pakistan, Ms Li told media. Although the government of Punjab has worked with World Bank to subsidise small-scale farmers to install sprinklers and drip irrigation systems, enormous farmers still refrain from adopting such efficient irrigation systems because of the high maintenance costs ensued.
Ms Li explained, Pakistani farmers tend to use irrigation accessories such as drip tapes and drippers from European countries, which is six times the cost of Chinese solutions and is beyond the price range of the farmers.
Pipes need to be removed for ploughing and land preparing prior to each crop and this puts a heavy burden on the farmers who already struggle financially to install the irrigation system, Dr Gong further elaborated. In essence, there has been a lack of communication between Chinese and Pakistani enterprises in this regard. – Agencies