Pakistan Punjab Irrigated-Agriculture Productivity Improvement Project (pipip) Environmental and Social Assessment Directorate General Agriculture (Water Management), Agriculture Department Government of Punjab, Lahore November 2011

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c.2Project Objectives

The project’s main objective is to improve water productivity, which will translate into greater agricultural output per unit of water used, and will be achieved through improved physical delivery efficiency, irrigation practices, crop diversification and effective application of inputs. The project’s objectives would contribute to increased agricultural production, employment and incomes, higher living standards and positive environmental outcomes.

c.3Project Beneficiaries

The direct beneficiaries of Project would be about 650,000 farm families or about 4.5 million people all over the Punjab. About 24,600 families would be direct beneficiaries of HEIS systems, about 150,000 of laser leveling system, and about 475,000 families from the watercourse improvement program. A very large population would be indirect beneficiaries of the Project that would help in installation of the systems, and supply of materials and improvement of watercourse, and help processing the incremental agriculture production. More women farmers are likely to opt for the HEIS system as it does not require night irrigation as well as other field work generally not considered culturally appropriate for women e.g. diversion of water from channels, tilling etc. The HEIS systems can easily be operated by one person and require just a few hours of water during the day. In contrast, water supply according to the warabandi goes over 24 hour rotation and about half of the shareholders get water at night. With HEIS the water would be delivered to the ponds and used for a week. Importantly, it is delivered during the day in the early morning and in the evening when heat and evaporation is low.

c.4Project Components

The various components included in the proposed Project are briefly described below.

c.4.1Component A: Installation of High Efficient Irrigation Systems

Subcomponent A1: Installation High Efficiency Irrigation Systems. Drip, bubbler, sprinkler (rain-gun, centre pivot) are termed as high efficiency irrigation systems, which use pipes for conveyance of water from the source to points of use. In drip or trickle irrigation, water is delivered in the form of drops to individual plants by means of small emitters. Bubbler irrigation is very similar to trickle irrigation except that the water is delivered to the plants through fountain type heads mounted on small spikes. Water is pumped at high pressure in sprinkler irrigation network through a pipe system and sprayed over the field somewhat like rain to irrigate the crops. In case of Punjab the source of water would be a groundwater well or canal water. As the canal water is delivered according to warabandi the farmers would have to develop pond on the farm that would allow to store water during their turn of “warabandi”, and apply to the field through HEIS on a continuous basis during the week till the next turn.

The component would support the installation of drip, trickle, bubbler, or sprinkler irrigation systems at the field level for high value, horticulture, vegetables, floriculture and other high value row crops. The irrigation systems would be installed by a service provider on a shared cost basis. The drip units would include a pumping unit, fertilizer tank, delivery fittings, filters, underground main pipeline, and delivery lines, etc. These systems would be installed for orchards, vegetable, flowers and other high value row crops, thereby promoting crop diversification. Controlled application of water and non-water inputs would enhance crop productivity. A technical assistance package would be provided by the vendors to the farmers to promote adaptation of the new technology. In addition, technical assistance and training would be provided to the users through component C of this project. Successful installation and application of these irrigation systems would encourage the private sector to adopt this high efficient irrigation technology, as was the case of groundwater development, which was initiated by the government but brought to scale by the private sector.

The high efficient irrigation systems would be installed over 120,000 acres. The target would be to install about 13,500 3-acre units (covering an area of about 40,500 acres), about 6,300 5-acres units (covering an area of about 31,500 acres) and 4,800 10-acres units (covering an area of 48,000 acres) (see Table 3.2 for details). The farmers would carry 40% of the cost of material, labor and installation, while the government would finance 60% of such cost and administrative cost of the government for installation of the system.

Table 3.: Targets for Different Sizes of HEIS Units

Size and Type of Unit

Number of Units


3-Acre Units for Orchards



3-Acre Units for Vegetables



3-Acre Units for Row Crops



5-Acre Units for Orchards



5-Acre Units for Vegetables



5-Acre Units for Row Crops



10-Acre Units for Orchards



10-Acre Units for Vegetables



10-Acre Units for Row Crops






The HEIS units would be designed and installed based on the lessons learnt from the pilot project already working in Punjab. Among the major components would be providing sufficient technical assistance and training to the installer and the users, and aftercare to ensure maximum benefit of such systems. Schemes for installation of HEIS would be selected using the criteria given below.

The Farm:

  1. has adequate and reliable/assured water source e.g. canal supply or operational tube-well having water of suitable quality for cotton irrigation;

  2. preferably located in an area with adequate access in order to have good demonstration effect;

  3. soil is suitable for growing cotton with drip irrigation and not severely degraded due to water-logging, salinization, and alkalinization; and

  4. topography relatively good without deep ditches/ravines or other obstacles, which cannot be resolved through economic drip irrigation design;

The Farmer:

  1. agrees to contribute his/her share over and above the financial assistance being provided under the scheme;

  2. is willing to mobilize operation and maintenance expenditure after installation of the drip irrigation;

  3. agrees to provide support and assistance to the project staff, supply and services companies, and consultants during their activities pertaining to the site surveys, installation of equipment, and other civil works;

  4. is owner/tenant/lessee and self cultivator of land (in the case of absentee owner, a well-versed farm manager is required);

  5. is not defaulter of any revenue/financial institution;

  6. will not remove or sell or transfer or hand over possession of installed system to any person in any form within three years after installation;

  7. agrees to get the operator of irrigation system trained in operation, trouble shooting/repair & maintenance from SSC/government;

  8. will abide by the decision of the allotment committee; and

  9. will be liable to pay full amount of financial assistance received for the purpose as arrears of land revenue in case of violating any of the conditions specified by the government.

The criteria would be reviewed annually, or more often if required, and updated based on the lessons learned.

Component A2: Strengthening of Precision Land Leveling Services. Un-leveled fields cause wastage of water, resulting in low irrigation application efficiency and much lower yields. Precision land leveling saves up to 30% irrigation water, results in uniform seed germination, and increases fertilizer uptake efficiency which enhances crop yields of up to 20%.

The Government of Punjab (GoPunjab) provided 2,500 LASER units to the farmers/service providers during the period 2005-06 to 2007-08 under the “Strengthening of LASER Land Leveling Services in the Punjab” project which has substantially improved the rental service of LASER land leveling for the farmers. Furthermore, about 1,425 units have been procured by the farmers/ service providers from their own resources in the province. Accordingly, there are over 4,000 operative LASER land leveling units in the Punjab with annual capacity of normally 1.2 million acres.

The total irrigated area of the Punjab is 34.73 million acres, out of which only about two million acres have been leveled. It is estimated that one LASER unit can LASER level about 300 acres annually due to short window available for land leveling between the rabi and kharif crops. Accordingly, LASER leveling of the remaining area in five years will require more than 22,000 LASER units. In addition, LASER land leveling operations are required to be repeated after 3-5 years to get the real benefits of the technology. It is therefore considered appropriate to add at least 3,000 more units to bring significant improvement in provision of LASER land leveling services.

The innovative approach introduced under the recently completed scheme will be replicated under proposed project for further strengthening of LASER land leveling services. This involves provision of one-time financial assistance to farmers/service providers for procurement of equipment and their capacity building to carry out the envisaged task that proved to be quite successful.

Under this component the laser leveling equipment would be provided to the service providers on a shared cost basis. The service providers would provide the laser leveling equipment and tractors to interested farmers, who would use their own tractors to complete the leveling. A capacity for laser land leveling of about two million acres annually would be developed, for which about 3,000 laser leveling units would be provided. About 50% of the cost of the laser land leveling equipment would be provided by the service provider who owns tractors capable of operating the LASER unit

The following criteria would be used for selection of service providers under the Project. The criteria would be approved and updated by the PSC time to time. An applicant will be eligible for the grant of financial assistance provided that the person:

  1. possesses a tractor capable of operating LASER unit (not less than 50 HP);

  2. agrees to carry out/provide services for LASER land leveling of 300 acres per year during project period on rental basis;

  3. has not applied for provision of LASER unit under this scheme from any other tehsil in the Punjab;

  4. has not already availed such facility from any earlier scheme of federal/provincial government;

  5. is owner/tenant/lease and self cultivator of land not more than 25 acres and is preferably agricultural machinery service provider or an agricultural graduate possessing requisite land ownership

  6. is not defaulter of any revenue/financial institution;

  7. agrees to use LASER unit for agricultural purposes only;

  8. will rent out the equipment for LASER land leveling in the area;

  9. will get the LASER unit booked with any short-listed/pre-qualified firm and failure to do so will cause cancellation of financial assistance being offered under the scheme,;

  10. will not sell or transfer or hand over possession of the LASER unit to any person in any form within the project period before meeting the obligations agreed under the scheme;

  11. agrees to get the operator trained in operation, trouble shooting/repair & maintenance and farm layout planning through Water Management Training Institute, Lahore;

  12. will abide by the decision of the District Allotment Committee and Director General Agriculture (Water Management), Punjab Lahore; and

  13. will be liable to pay full amount of financial assistance received for the purpose as arrears of land revenue in case of violation of any of the conditions of the scheme.

c.4.2Component B: Upgrading of Community Irrigation Systems

Component B1: Watercourse Improvements in Canal Irrigated Areas. The component would assist Government efforts to improve watercourses (W/C), the tertiary level water distribution system where water losses are highest. Of the 140,000 total watercourses in irrigated areas of Pakistan, around 95,000 have been improved under various program supported by several donors. Punjab has about 58,000 watercourses in irrigated areas, out of which about 41,000 have been improved, leaving a remaining 17,000 in need of improvement.

The innovations would be introduced to use concrete parabolic channel sections up to 8 feet (or U sections namely canalets) placed on leveled compacted earth with water tight joints, thus improving existing technology of brick lining. It may not be possible to use parabolic concrete units at all watercourses due to accessibility issues, lack of required skills, and farmers’ preference. Therefore, where suitable and where farmers prefer, watercourses would be lined using traditional bricks with plaster. Also, water turnout structures would be replaced with properly designed concrete structures (pucca nakas). The earthen sections of the watercourse would be improved using clean compacted soil. Efforts would be made to have private contractors/service providers construct such canalets and have water users associations (WUAs) install them. The project would provide technical assistance for layout and construction supervision to the WUAs. The length of the watercourses, installation of diversion structures, as well as other improvements to earthen sections of the watercourses would be in accordance with the current standard practice and optimized for each watercourse. WUAs would share the cost through providing labor, and the Government would provide canalets and other material.

About 5,500 new watercourses which have never been improved would be covered under the project. The target would be to improve at least 3,000 using the concrete canalets and another 2,500 using traditional material of bricks etc. About 1,500 watercourses that have been improved since the start of the program would be improved using up-to-date techniques. About 2,000 watercourses would be improved in rain-fed (barani) area. In canal commanded areas, preference would be given to the areas where distributary level farmers’ organizations have been formed. Preference would also be given to the watercourses located at the tail-end of the canal systems.

Development and Role of Water Users Associations (WUAs). The key to the success of the watercourse improvement program in Pakistan is farmers’ participation. Watercourse improvement projects are driven by the community and share holders of the watercourses. The OFWM staff would carry out the social mobilization program to involve the farmers in the implementation of the proposed project. They have successfully undertaken this function for past 30 years by organizing about 48,000 WUAs in the province for improvement of watercourses.

A WUA would be formed on each canal outlet or watercourse that will be registered under “On Farm Water Management & Water Users Association Ordinance Act, 1981 (Amended 2001)” under the proposed project. The WUA will be the key institution for implementation of watercourse development activities with following key responsibilities:

Provide right of way for constructing watercourse;

Arrange skilled and unskilled labor required for reconstruction of earthen water channel, installation of structures and lining of critical reaches;

Procure construction materials for carrying out civil works;

Settle matters of disputes amongst the water users in respect of channel alignment, fixation of nuccas (outlets), distribution of work etc.

Make alternate arrangements for conveyance of water during execution of works

Carry out civil works in accordance with standards and specifications under the supervision of OFWM field staff

Regularly undertake O&M of new / improved watercourses

In addition, WUAs would be encouraged to assume following functions:

participate in distributary level farmers’ organization and represent all users of the watercourse;

undertake construction / improvement of farmers’ branches and field ditches

participate in the process of water allocations and distribution (warabandi) within the watercourse command

carry out O&M of community tube-wells

install surface/sub-surface drains within watercourse command areas;

facilitate distribution of non-water inputs;

participate in development and utilization of funding obtained from the government or other sources.

Watercourse improvement works. The watercourse improvement/renovation would consist of complete demolition of community channels and rebuilding/re-aligning them according to the engineering design with clean compacted soil. Parts of reconstructed channel are lined and necessary water control structures are installed to improve conveyance of the canal and tube-well water. The standard "pucca" lining carried out under previous and ongoing OFWM programs is a rectangular shaped channel using double-brick masonry walls (23 cm) and a brick masonry bed (7 cm) plastered inside and on top of the walls. This design has proved to be durable and easy to install. The same will therefore be adopted under the proposed project. Other types of lining e.g. pre-fabricated concrete (pre-cast parabolic lining), pipe, plastic etc. will also be followed considering farmers’ choice, field conditions, and cost effectiveness.

Precast naccas would be installed at all junctions and authorized outlets to reduce channel deterioration, seepage loss, and to improve water control. Under normal conditions, where the land is fairly leveled and belongs to one or two farmers only, the standard practice of providing one nacca (turnout and check) for every 25 acres is satisfactory. Extra provision of naccas would be made where the land has been subjected to fragmentation because of uneven topography, repeated division of ownership, and social problems. Moreover, culverts would be constructed at major crossings, and a limited number of checks/drop structures, animal wallows/buffalo baths, and laundry sites would be provided as required. The construction of washing places and lining of reaches through villages would provide additional public health benefits. It is planned that execution of field activities will be carried out by the following procedures adopted under earlier national program.

Component B2: Completion of Partially Improved Watercourses. Many watercourses in Punjab were only partially (barely) improved in the early part of the program in the late 1970s. In order to fully realize the benefits, the improvement works on these watercourses would have to be completed. The project would cover completion of about 4,000 watercourses which have been partially improved in the past. Farmers would contribute skilled and unskilled labor (30 percent of the cost) with the Project funding the remaining cost. Improvement works and procedures would be similar to new watercourses, as described above.

Component B3: Improvement of Community Irrigation Systems in the Non-canal Commanded Areas. This component would cover watercourse improvements in the rain-fed (barani) areas, i.e. areas which are not in the command of barrage controlled irrigation but have localized irrigation schemes. These are generally small watercourses and the cost of improvement is less than in other areas. The project would cover about 4,000 watercourses in barani areas. Farmers would contribute skilled and unskilled labor (about 30 percent of the cost of the improvement works) while the Project would carry the cost of the material. The standards and procedures for improvement would be the same as described above.

c.4.3Component C: Improved Agriculture Technology/Practices and Monitoring and Evaluation

Component C1: Improved Agriculture Technology and Practices. The purpose of this component would be to enhance productivity of the irrigated lands. The activities under this component would include: (i) effective applied research, extension, and agricultural information services; (ii) participatory training for farmers, involving training of specific target groups in various agro-technical fields, farm management and irrigation agronomy; (iii) demonstration and assistance in improved and modern technologies and methods to increase agricultural production through better agronomic practices; (iv) training of the service providers, and training of trainers; and (iv) the establishment of a Farmers Information Services Desk linked to the internet, electronic media and cell phones etc. This would provide relevant information to farmers and to advise them on making their farms more productive and sensitive to the market demands. The Water Management Training Institute (WMTI), Lahore will provide training, research and extension support for adoption of modern irrigation water management and conservation techniques and technologies. Demonstration of new technologies is expected to result in crop diversification, and crop husbandry, horticulture, vegetables and floriculture, improved irrigation and drainage practices and better water management to improve water use efficiencies and reduce environmental degradation. This would include interventions to optimize field size, introduce land leveling and furrow irrigation, irrigation using drip, bubbler and sprinkler irrigation system and ways to adapt these technologies etc. For this purpose, demonstration plots would be developed in various parts of the project area to complement the direct assistance and to promote new technologies.

Component C2: Monitoring and Evaluation of Project Impact. This component would cover monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of the project’s impacts. This would be done primarily by using a sampling technique, as well as by conducting case studies, GIS systems, and satellite data. The M&E activities would provide continuous feedback on the project’s performance and impact of its various components to the GoPunjab, the Project Policy Committee (PPC), Project Steering Committee (PSC), and the implementing agency, so that corrective actions could be undertaken in a timely manner. The M&E activities would cover three set of activities: (a) monitoring of project implementation, checking and audit of project outputs and quality; (b) project impact; and (c) monitoring of environmental and social impact and mitigation plans. The M&E activities are likely to cover, but not limited to: (i) the impact of the I&D improvements on water use efficiency, groundwater levels and quality, and soil salinity; on-farm water use; cropping patterns and yields; and livestock population, health and production; (ii) socio-economic impacts and the impact on the level of employment, livelihood and household incomes in the project area; estimation of the project’s overall benefits and economic rate of returns. M&E would be carried out using latest technology such as satellite imagery and GIS systems, where necessary.

c.4.4Component D: Project Management, Supervision, Technical Assistance, Training and Strategic Studies.

This component would cover the cost of (i) project implementation and management, including mobilization of farmers, surveys, engineering and designs, implementation supervision and assistance to the farmers and suppliers, and ensuring quality of the works carried out by farmers and suppliers/venders etc; (ii) project supervision and spot checks, covering quality and quantity aspects, by third party consultants based on which the funds would be disbursed; and (iii) strategic studies and pilot projects that would be identified during project implementation, and technical assistance, training, in particular training to the project staff (i.e. training of trainers) in crop diversification, shift to horticulture, vegetable and floriculture crops, operation and maintenance of the irrigation systems, and units installed under the project.

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