CPEC-supported solar energy boosts Pakistani produce cultivation

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Observer Report

Islamabad

China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) supported solar energy boosts Pakistani produce cultivation, says a report published by Gwadar Pro on Friday.
Several energy projects under CPEC are focused on much-needed alternative renewable energies. In fact China is playing a big part in helping Pakistan become energy-sufficient,” Muhammad Tariq, an energy expert said. The report quoting Raham Khaliq, a local cultivator in Malakand district, KP stated that in the early 1980s farmers started digging tube wells running with electric power generators, leading to an increase in citrus orchards. Some farmers also established similar orchards with tube wells running with diesel generators.
Hence, with the advent of tube wells in the area, citrus production increased and people began to sell their fruits in nearby markets. However, the majority of the tube wells were established near villages, so remote uninhabited areas, with no electricity supply line, remained barren, or people cultivated wheat, maize and other such crops relying on rainwater.
Talking to Gwadar Pro, Raham Khaliq said that the malta of Palai had established itself in the market due to its quality. In recent years, the number of citrus orchards increased a lot after farmers started installing solar-powered tube wells in their fields. Apart from citrus, local people also cultivate peaches, guavas, tomatoes and other vegetables.
Afzal Hussain installed a solar-powered pump on his tube-well in Bara Bazdara village about five years ago. The tube well brought about a revolution in his farming and he began the cultivation of malta, peaches and tomatoes in his fields, which for centuries had relied only on rainwater and produced only wheat and corn.
“Today my land is not only a source of income for my family but our orchards have provided informal jobs for several locals,” he told Gwadar Pro. Zahid Shah is another farmer from Sherkhana village who uses both electric and diesel operated tube-wells to water his orange orchards. However, he is thinking of switching to a solar-powered tube-well.
“Due to frequent load-shedding and low voltage and soaring gasoline prices, I am going to move to solar tube-wells,” he told Gwadar Pro adding that many cultivators have started using solar systems and even the arid hilly areas have turned green due to solar-powered tube wells. The area with bright blue sky and powerful sun receive more than 10 hours of sunlight making it conducive for solar system installation. .

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