ISLAMABAD: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved a 100-million-US-dollar loan on Monday to improve irrigation infrastructure and water resource management in Pakistan’s southwest Balochistan province.
The loan will help to address persistent water shortages in Balochistan’s farmland and increase earnings on farms, the ADB said. According to the statement, a dam able to hold 36 million cubic meters of water, 276 kms of irrigation channels and drainage canals will be constructed or upgraded, adding that about 16,592 hectares of land will be added or improved for irrigation in the province.
A water resources information system will also be established that will use advanced technology such as satellite and remote sensing to do river basin modelling and identify degraded land for rehabilitation, the statement added.
Agriculture accounts for almost two-thirds of Balochistan's economic output and employs 60 percent of the province's 13 million population. Frequent drought and poor water management has put the industry and related population at risk, according to the statement.