50% rice cultivation likely to affected by water scarcity in Sindh
LARKANA: The central leader of Sindh Abadgar Board (SAB), Gada Hussain Mahesar, has said that 40% of land is still facing water shortage due to which these lands have become dry where paddy saplings have not still been sown.
He was talking to newsmen here on Sunday. He said this time water was released very late which had never been done in the past due to which many areas of Sindh might not be able to sow rice. He claimed that 50% of the rice cultivation would be affected in the province only because of late arrival of irrigation water. He said Sindh economy would suffer losses of millions of rupees along with the growers and poor peasants.
He alleged that water released in various canals and drains of Larkana and Kambar-Shahdadkot had been purchased by the growers against payment which they could not share with others who had not paid. SAB leader said that they tried their best to contact chief engineer and other irrigation department engineers, but they did not attend their calls.
He said during paddy sowing season, all engineers remained in their respective offices, but this year, they were constantly out of their government offices. He said he had never seen sowing of rice in September which was always finished latest by mid August. He said still farmers were busy in sowing rice saplings without knowing that there would be no yield.
He said vast lands would become arid due to nonavailability of water. Mahesar said: “In October, harvesting of rice season starts but tillers are still demanding water. Annually rice is grown on 2.7 million acres of fertile lands and annual rice production is approximately 2.4 million tons which is more than any other crop production in the province. All five districts of Larkana division are known for rice production whereas Dadu and Badin districts are also contributing.”
It must be mentioned here that irrigation water is usually released in Sindh canals during May-June annually but this year, water reached after over 45 days. Mahesar said PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari should take notice of this entire situation and order immediate remedy measures to save growers and farmers from huge losses.