By: Shukria Kohistani
A number of Afghans are now willing to further use the solar energy in most provinces of the country. Lack of water has caused that most people turn to use the solar energy in the country. Currently, Afghanistan is facing with increasing threat of drought; therefore, the people have to turn the energy as the majority of the people are farmers and need water to irrigate their agricultural fields.
For example, most farmers and orchard owners in Jawzjan have now turned to use the solar energy to get water for their agricultural fields. Lack of water is considered as one of the biggest problems facing farmers and orchard owners in the province. In recent years, a number of farmers and orchard owners with close cooperation of provincial directorate of agriculture, irrigation and livestock of Jawzjan have addressed the problem with using the solar energy.
Currently, a number of the province’s farmers and orchard owners by installing solar panel mounts provided by provincial directorate of agriculture, irrigation and livestock and using the solar power energy get water to irrigate their agricultural fields, while others have personally purchased and installed the system on their fields.
Meanwhile, provincial director of agriculture, irrigation and livestock for Jawzjan Asadullah Stigh has said that drip irrigation system has been also introduced to farmers and orchard owners of the province.
Drip irrigation is a type of micro-irrigation system that has the potential to save water and nutrients by allowing water to drip slowly to the roots of plants, either from above the soil surface or buried below the surface. The goal is to place water directly into the root zone and minimize evaporation.
“Jawzjan provincial directorate of agriculture, irrigation and livestock has distributed solar water-pump system to 22 farmers and orchard owners in the province,” Stigh said, adding that the price of each water-pump has reached to 100,000 – 200,000 AFG.
This comes amid of concerns over increasing problems and shortage of water caused by drought in the province. According to provincial department for agriculture, irrigation and livestock, the new drip irrigation system and installation of solar system will somehow help address the problem in the province.
On the other hand, the provincial director for agriculture, irrigation and livestock in the province by admitting that increasing use of the underground water will cause increasing problems of lack of water and environment in the long-term said in current circumstances in which people are facing with drought the people need to use the system to irrigate their fields.
Farmers and orchard owners in Jawzjan are happy with installation of the solar panel mounts system to get water for irrigation of their agricultural fields in the province.
“With installation of the solar energy system, I can irrigate nearly 46 acre fields where I cultivate lady finger, strawberries, grapes and other vegetables and fruits,” said Rahimullah, a local farmer in Jawzjan.
He believes that using of the solar water-pumps is much better to produce power for getting water to irrigate agricultural fields comparing to generators to produce electricity.
Jawzjan is considered a rare province in the country’s north which faces with lack of water for irrigation of agricultural fields.