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QUETTA: Federal Minister of Science and Technology Agha Hasan Baloch has said that a comprehensive plan for the development of water resources, livestock and agriculture was being started in 18 districts of Balochistan at a cost of 40 million Euros by the International Organization for Agricultural Development (IOAD).

Under the project, 30 thousand tubewells will be transferred to solar energy in a phased manner to deal with the energy crisis, which will result in an annual saving of 22 billion in subsidies given by the federal and provincial governments. These amounts can be spent on education, health and other development projects.

He expressed these views while addressing an event organized in collaboration with the IOAD here Saturday.

Officials of the Ministry of Science and Technology, Department of Agriculture and Balochistan farmers also participated in the ceremony.

The Federal Minister said that due to the lack of industries and factories in Balochistan, majority of local people were associated with agriculture and livestock sectors saying that the agriculture sector is being severely affected due to electricity requirements and the people associated with these sectors were suffering from poverty and destitution while thousands of cattle had been died due to drought in 1999.

The economic effects of this damage are still intact. On the other hand, precious water is lost due to lack of adequate arrangements for water storage in Balochistan. Dams are needed to prevent this wastage of water which causes damages in case of floods, he pointed out.

He said that the Irrigation Department of Balochistan should make a proposal in this regard so that feasible steps could be taken for the construction of dams adding that in view of the electrical situation in Iran, these areas were often deprived of electricity.

He said that the project for development of water recharge, agriculture and livestock sector would be expanded to all the districts of Balochistan while the Ministry of Science and Technology with the support of the World Bank, would also organize a donor conference to utilize the development opportunities of Balochistan.

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