Challenge Fund on surface water use in irrigation launched

Dhaka,  Sat,  23 September 2017
Published : 10 Aug 2017, 00:42:36
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Challenge Fund on surface water use in irrigation launched

The Access to Information (a2i) Programme of the Prime Minister's office on Wednesday formed a 'Challenge Fund on Use of Surface Water for Irrigation' for providing financial and technical assistances to innovative solutions to use surface water for irrigation, reports UNB.

The Challenge Fund will provide Tk 12.5 million to five innovative pilot projects in five different types of locations in the country so that farmers can use surface water for irrigation.

The fund was launched at an event at the PMO, which was jointly arranged by the a2i programme, and two agencies under the agricultural ministry --the Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation (BADC) and the Barind Multipurpose Development Authority (BMDA).

Presided over by Project Director of the a2i Programme Kabir Bin Anwar, the event was attended by additional secretary of Agriculture Ministry BM Enamul Haque, BADC chairman Md Nasiruzzaman and BMDA superintendent engineer MD Shamsul Huda.

The BADC and the BMDA will also extend their support in implementing the five pilot projects in the designated locations.

The a2i programme will finance innovative solutions to surface water-based irrigation which are applicable to the distinct soil and geographic conditions in Bangladesh.

Individuals and organisations from all across Bangladesh are encouraged to come up with sustainable, implementable and affordable solutions to surface water-based irrigation which can then be applied to either of the following different types of locations drought-prone, char and hilly areas and saline prone areas, and haor locations.

But a necessary prerequisite is that the solution does not reduce the crop yield rate, said a press release.

In Bangladesh, groundwater level on average drops by more than 5 metres every year as people rely on 5 million tube-wells as source of water. Irrigation alone uses up more than 87 percent of the total extracted water.
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