Sindh govt to launch WB-funded project for irrigation, farm sector reforms.

HYDERABAD -- World Bank's (WB) regional director John Roome has said the Sindh government with the WB's help is going to launch a project to bring reforms in the irrigation and agriculture sectors in order to get maximum output and boost rural economy.

Irrigation reforms were essential for improving Pakistan's economy and irrigation system in order to earn foreign exchange, he said during a visit to Kotri Barrage and its off-taking canal Akram Wah, and a meeting with the officials of the irrigation department, said a press release issued the other day.

He was accompanied by a delegation of WB officers, including operation manager Gailius Draugelis, expert of water resource management Francois Onimus, external affairs officer Mariam Altaf, and programme associate and mission coordinator Aslam Malik.

He disclosed that the Sindh government was launching the project in the name of the Sindh Water and Agriculture Transformation (SWAT). Pakistan's agriculture and irrigation sectors needed improvement so that water availability for agriculture sector could be ensured efficiently and timely, he said.

He added that the step would lead to better yield in crops and it would be exportable as well to earn foreign exchange. He said that climate change was making all-important that climate smart agriculture should be ensured.

He said that farmers would have to grow crops that could sustain climate change driven weather patterns instead of conventional crops' cultivation. He disclosed that Akram Wah would be rehabilitated under the WB funded SWAT.

Under that rehabilitation programme, he said, the faults of Akram Wah would be rectified so that its capacity to draw more water could be enhanced.

Sindh Irrigation and Drainage Authority (Sida) Managing Director Pritam Das informed the visiting WB official that the rehabilitation programme was a big challenge because that canal was a perennial channel of Kotri Barrage.

He said that works would have to be executed without stopping canal's flows and added that very limited time would be available for the execution of works.

He said that the canal's module...

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