LAHORE - The agriculture sector is going to bear a huge loss of about Rs100 billion in the production of Rabi crops of wheat and gram due to acute water shortage in the country, a survey conducted by the Punjab Agriculture Department revealed on Friday. Sources in the department said the department conducted this survey in December 2009 through the district presidents of the department, which said that due to water shortage in the reservoirs the sowing schedule of the growers was disturbed as farmers even could not get first irrigation water for their crops. About 50 per cent of crops on more than 2.3 million acres of land in arid areas could not be sowed this year due to insufficient water in the River Chenab after construction of Baglihar Dam by India. The sources said that more than seven million acre feet of water of run of river and reservoirs of the country being wasted due to lack of planning and insufficient water reservoirs in the country. Major crop of the rabi is wheat which is sowed on about 20 million acres of land in the province only while gram is sowed on about three million acres of land, sunflower on about 1.5 million acres and canola is being sowed about one million acres of land. They said insufficient irrigation is harming such crops and resultantly the target set by the government regarding the production of such crops particularly the target set for the wheat crop of about 19 million tons could not be achieved. They said requirement of the water for the irrigation of the crops is about 100 million acres of feet for the rabi crops while the available quantity of water for this purpose is about 65 to 75 million acre feet water and out of which 35 million acre feet water could not be availed by agriculture sector due to shortage of water. In case of shortage of water in dams and run of river, tubewells were being used as substitute source of water for irrigation purposes, said sources, adding that the farmers have installed more than 1 million tubewells in the province for irrigating their crops, out of which about 0.8 million tubewells are diesel operative whereas the remaining 0.2 million tubewells are electricity operative. The growers could not get required quantity of water for irrigation of their crops from such tubewells due to the raise in electricity and diesel tariffs which is also hitting the crops production, sources added. In this regard, the agriculture experts have stressed the government to construct maximum reservoirs of water in the country including the construction of Kalabagh Dam in order to meet the need of water in the country and for the sake of saving the water of run of river which is need of the hour.