MAZAR-I-SHARIF, Afghanistan, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) -- Afghan authorities have inaugurated a water canal in Dawlatabad district of the northern Balkh province to irrigate more than 8,000 hectares of land, a provincial government official Mohammad Ibrahim said Saturday.
Financed by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) at a cost of 20 million afghanis (0.23 million U.S. dollars), the canal, which was officially put into use on Thursday, would facilitate the farmers to irrigate more than 8,000 hectares of land in Dawlatabad district and adjoining areas, the official told reporters.
The provincial administration would do its best to bring more land under water as part of efforts to develop the agriculture sector and facilitate farmers to increase agricultural production, the official noted.
Last year, Acting Deputy Prime Minister of the Taliban-run establishment Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar inaugurated the construction of a 285 km-long water canal in Qush Tepa area of Balkh province to irrigate 550,000 hectares of land in Balkh and the neighboring Jawzjan and Faryab provinces. ■