Sleman mountains witnessing massive agriculture development

MULTAN: The magnificent Suleman Mountain Range is undergoing a massive agriculture development process with officials engaged in incorporating modern means of irrigation, carving pathways through rocky mountains and building pro-agriculture infrastructure to give tribesmen a taste of modernized farming to earn livelihood.

Secretary agriculture south Punjab Saqib Ali Ateel spent last few days overseeing the initiatives and meeting with farming community. On Friday, he visited different parts of Suleman Mountain Range including Taunsa, Baarthi, Sakhi Sarwar and different parts of Dera Ghazi Khan.

Talking to officials, Saqib said that all the schemes meant for farmers’ well being and agriculture development should be completed on time.

He said that water management and soil conservation departments were developing ponds to ensure irrigation facility to the farmers at Suleman mountain range at cheaper cost to nurture their crops, and orchards.

New irrigation schemes suitable for mountainous areas were being launched at Koh-e-Suleman, Saqib said. He added that Koh-e-Suleman was best for organic farming and work was in progress on numerous initiatives to end deprivation of this area.

He said that Punjab government was employing bulldozers for land levelling and Rigs to drill the land for water.

Officials informed that agriculture engineering department has so far completed 347 kilometers long 131 tracks adding that bulldozers have operated for 15500 hours to complete this task and more tracks were in the making.

Seventeen irrigation schemes have been completed and twenty (20) were under execution and would be completed within the ongoing year by the water management department. They said that 115 acre area has been brought under drip irrigation system while work order has been issued to install this system on another 20 acre area.

Two small dams have been developed to store rainwater to support agriculture.

Saqib Ateel said that communication facilities in the tribal area were being introduced by developing link roads and high efficiency irrigation systems were being introduced.

Earlier on Thursday, secretary agriculture south Punjab had inaugurated orchard development project at Koh-e-Suleman to provide fruit saplings to tribal area farmers to develop orchards of olive, dates and citrus. These saplings were provided to those farmers who had irrigation arrangements and had fenced their fields for protection. Total 235 acre area would be converted into orchards including 150 acres for olive, 75 acres for citrus and 15 acres for dates. Poor tribal farmers were getting agriculture implements at highly subsidized prices on the orders of CM Sardar Usman Buzdar to improve their financial conditions.