Modernizing Irrigation in South Khorasan

Modernizing Irrigation in South KhorasanModernizing Irrigation in South Khorasan

Optimal use of water is a major concern in South Khorasan Province due to the severe water shortage. As of now, only 4% of the 190,000 hectares of provincial agricultural land is equipped with modern irrigation facilities.

Recently, the government announced a plan to meet 85% of the costs of modernizing irrigation facilities, with an allocation of 65 million rials ($1,897) per hectare. But experts point out that the presence of small farms will increase the costs of modern irrigation and delay the plan execution, Mehr news agency reported.

Failure to accelerate the project implementation will lead to huge water and investment losses and threaten regional agricultural, already hit hard by years of drought and water shortage, the experts point out.

Meanwhile, farmers have expressed dissatisfaction “with the slow process of receiving financial aid to equip their farms with modern irrigation systems due to the restrictions imposed by the ministry of agricultural Jihad.”

Recalling that the province has faced a 16-year drought, the managing director of provincial agricultural Jihad, Hashem Valipour said: “Use of traditional irrigation systems, which leads to a large volume of water being lost in evaporation, is responsible for water scarcity in the agro sector, which accounts for nearly 92% of the country’s total water consumption.”

Director of water and soil department Ali Shafi’ee urged farmers to consult agriculture jihad officials before purchasing irrigation equipment.