Country’s tube wells solarisation to save Rs908b

ISLAMABAD  -   The conversion of agriculture tube wells from high speed diesel to solar power could save Rs 908 billion ($3.26b).

There are 1.5 million tube wells in Pakistan, of which 80% are powered by diesel, consuming 3.15 billion liters of diesel worth Rs. 908 billion annually, according the Ministry of Food Security and Research said while briefing a meeting on the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China.

Regarding the solarization of tube wells, the ministry was of the view that converting these diesel-powered tube wells to solar energy would be cost-effective and environment friendly.

The matter was discussed in a follow up meeting on the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, focusing on the progress of mutually agreed projects between Pakistan and China. The meeting was chaired by the Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiative Minister Ahsan Iqbal here Wednesday.

During the visit of the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, it was agreed that Huawei will deliver training to 200,000 students across Pakistan. The Planning Minister directed the Ministry of Information Technology to identify in-demand skills, and faculty arrangements, and determine the duration of the certificates to be offered. The Minister emphasized the importance of involving private IT sector stakeholders for their feedback to ensure relevant skill development.

Meanwhile, the Planning Minister instructed for the involvement of Higher Education Commission (HEC) stating that university computer labs across Pakistan could serve as Huawei’s training academies, highlighting the need for thorough preparation to operationalize the training of 200,000 students. The Planning Minister also inquired about the Digital Pakistan Initiative and instructed the preparation of a comprehensive national digitalization strategy.

While discussing the plan for training 1,000 agricultural professionals in China, the Minister directed that fresh graduates be provided with specific skills in targeted areas. The training certificates should have durations of three to six months and one year, with courses divided into two categories for skill upgrades: a six-month course and a one-year course. These trainings are expected to significantly enhance the agricultural sector’s expertise and productivity in Pakistan.

The National Highway Authority provided a briefing on its projects, including the signed Framework Agreement for the Realignment of KKH Phase II (Thakot-Raikot) covering 241 km, and various signed MoUs and feasibility studies.

The meeting was attended by Secretary Planning Awais Manzur Sumra, along with senior officials from the Ministry of Food Security and Research, the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication, Ministry of Power, National Highway Authority (NHA) and the CPEC Secretariat.

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