LAHORE : Irrigation Minister Mian Yawar Zaman has said that the role of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in the success of irrigation sector projects in Punjab is highly pivotal. “JICA has helped to develop the irrigation sector on most modern lines. The introduction of latest water saving techniques with the technical assistance of JICA will go a long way in saving canal water and improving agricultural productivity, he hoped while presiding over the closing session of a seminar on “Strengthening Irrigated Agriculture through Participatory Irrigation Management Project in Punjab” (SIAP) here on Wednesday.

 The First Secretary of Japan Embassy in Pakistan Yuichi Kuroda, Country Chief JICA Motoo Taki, Chief Irrigation Advisor Noryo Kyono and others participated.

The minister observed that the canal water was the main artery of whole irrigation system as it is used for almost every agricultural activity.

“It is important to note that the irrigation system of Punjab is more than hundred years old and therefore, could not ensure a sufficient storage capacity to cope with the rising water needs of farmers. In the light of such circumstances, the Punjab government has decided to launch a comprehensive development plan to sensitise the farming community about canal water saving techniques.”

He expressed the satisfaction that JICA has extended its all-out assistance to introduce latest water saving technologies by improving the professional capacity of officers working in irrigation and agriculture sectors at the grassroots.

The minister commended the good efforts of JICA and PIDA in achieving hundred percent results of SIAP and termed it as a proof of sheer commitment and sincerity of farmers and officers for the betterment of irrigation sector.