Pakistan Council for Research and Water Resources (PCRWR) premeditated to enlarge the extent of `Irrigation Advisory SMS Service for the Farmers’ by mounting the number of registered farmers from existing 20,000 up to 100,000 in the long run.
PCRWR Chairman Dr Muhammad Aslam Tahir said that PCRWR council anticipates extending it to all farmers of irrigated areas through international and national coordination. The service was launched with an aim to help lessen overwatering and augment crop yields for Pakistani farmers.
The service has already been informing the farmers of 41 districts (irrigated areas) about their net weekly irrigation requirements, considering Evapotranspiration (ET) and precipitation. Dr Aslam said around 90 percent of the water is consumed in the agriculture sector of the country and most of it is wasted due to improper utilization.
The intention at the back of initiating this service was to preserve this water through educating farmers about actual water requirement for their crops. The farmers, during this service, get weekly information on how much water their crop is needed and if there is chances of any rain or not during the next week.
PCRWR is in contact with Telenor Telecom Company to utilize their service and existing database of farmers for providing irrigation advisory service to the maximum number of farmers.
A survey by the PCRWR bring into being that farmers who used the text message alerts reported a 40 percent savings in water while their income has been doubled as they got more crops by applying the correct amount of water.