USAID introduce 1200 Energy & Cost Saving irrigation pumps in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: The United States Government through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is helping thousands of farmers replace their outdated irrigation pumps with more efficient models in an effort to reduce energy use and agriculture production costs.

Dr. Andrew Sisson, Director of the USAID Office in Pakistan while addressing a ceremony here said to date, more than 1,200 farmers have benefited from the initiative, and several thousand more will benefit before the project is completed. This is one of several initiatives that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced in 2009 to support Pakistan’s effort to reduce energy shortages in the country.

“These efforts are part of the United States’ long-term commitment to help build a stronger, more energy independent Pakistan,” he said.

H e said through this program, the U.S. Government helps farmers replace thousands of poorly functioning irrigation pumps by funding half of the cost of the replacement and helping farmers access financing for the remainder. Using energy efficient pumps, farmers are able to use at least 20% less electricity to extract the same amount of water, he added.

“I saved 40% on my electricity bill,” says farmer Haji Saeed from Southern Punjab, who has replaced his pump with USAID support a couple of months ago.

“I’ll be able to spend more on seed and fertilizer and increase my income”, he said.

The agriculture sector is the third largest consumer of electricity in the country. Outdated irrigation pumps account for the largest share of that consumption. Through this program, the U.S. Government aims to help reduce energy consumption by at least 45 Megawatts the amount produced by a small power plant, mission director concluded.

Later certificates were distributed among the farmers who took part in the ongoing US project.

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