I own thirty acres of land in Hyderabad Thall, Chamb Road, Tehsil Mankera, District. Bhakkar. The area is arid and relies solely on rainwater for irrigation.

By Anjum Saeed

The major crop of the area is chickpea subject to occurrence of rainfall which has been less than the average for the last decade, making it almost impossible to have any yield. Resultantly, the average yearly income remained to around Rs. 1000 per acre during the last decade. Another issue faced was the constant sand dune erosion due to heavy wind and lack of plantation. Under these circumstances, it was becoming difficult to survive, especially for the famers having small land holding.

In 2019, I came to know about the initiative of Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) regarding installation of solar powered drip and sprinkler irrigation systems through an interactive field day, organized by PCRWR on an already established site at Mianwali. Seeing its efficacy and potential, I also applied for the same and luckily got selected. A team from PCRWR conducted detailed survey of my land and based on the topography, earmarked 5 acres for drip irrigation and 4 acres for sprinkler irrigation system. Moreover, the boundary of the land was provided with shelter belt of indigenous Khagal trees to control the issue of sand dune erosion, irrigated through installed drip system. The site became operational in September, 2020.


Barren Land prior to Intervention

Solar System for drip and sprinkler irrigation

About 600 Teak plants, 100 Date plants and 100 Fig plants have been grown on the drip system, which are showing good growth. Seeing these results, I extended the drip irrigation system to 7 more acres, making the combined land under said system to 12 acres. Whereas, plantation of olive trees is under process and will be completed by April, 2022. Moreover, owing to scanty rainfalls in the area, only one crop was obtained per annum. However, after the introduction of sprinkler irrigation system, I have successfully obtained two crops per year. One was wheat and the other was sweet potato. Although it was first attempt in the area to grow sweet potatoes, valuable lessons were learnt from the experience.



Fruit Trees on Drip Irrigation System


Crop sown on Sprinkler Irrigation System

Rapid Growth of Vegetative Cover/Shelter Belt (1st Month vs 12th Month)



Till 2020, average yearly income from the farm was about Rs. 1000 per acre from the chickpea crop. Post intervention, first crop sown was wheat, for which I was able to obtain a substantial yield of 32 mounds per acre. This resulted in gross income of Rs. 57,600, whereas, my net profit was Rs. 22,600. Compared to the past, the monetary gains were remarkable. A second crop of sweet potato was also sown on experimental basis, which again turned out to be a success and I was able to get a gross income of Rs. 30,000 from the crop as well. Based on the experiment, I am hopeful that this can become a lead crop in the area for summers. In addition, I have also grown chili seedlings, which would be sown in the spring of 2022.

Vote of thanks to PCRWR, for helping out and making it possible to grow fruits and crops in barren desert area.

Author: Anjum Saeed

(Saeed Farm Chamb Road Hyderabad Thall, Tehsil Mankara, District Bhakkar)