ADB has approved a $200 million loan for the uplift of irrigation infrastructure in Punjab to help increase agricultural productivity.
The loan will be used for the construction of the second branch or Choubara system of the Greater Thal Canal irrigation scheme that will provide reliable irrigation water supply to 704,000 hectares of land in Bhakkar, Jhang, Khushab, Layyah, and Muzaffargarh districts, making them more agriculturally productive.
The Government of Pakistan had earlier constructed the main canal and the first branch or Mankera system.
“Given Pakistan’s vulnerability to the impacts of climate change, it is essential to build irrigation infrastructure for climate-resilient and sustainable agriculture,” said ADB Director General for Central and West Asia Yevgeniy Zhukov.
“ADB’s support will help boost the supply of local produce and promote food security, while increasing economic growth.”
The Choubara branch system comprises a 72-kilometer branch canal, 11 secondary canals totaling 251 kilometers, and 11 tertiary canals totaling 127 kilometers. The ADB will also help develop on-farm agricultural command areas, pilot water conservation technologies such as land leveling and high efficiency irrigation systems and help to train farmers in water management and climate-resilient agricultural practices.