WheatWheat GDP, and more than 40 percent of labour

WheatWheat is an important cereal crop for many countries, where it is consumed as a staple food. It is an admitted fact that nothing is more important than the needs of human beings. Sustainability and reliability in food production are very important for sustainable crop production. For wheat production, water supply and energy are important and will continue to constitute an important foundation to ensure the sustainability of agriculture and food production reliability. However, water and energy preservation are two key issues for researchers to decrease the costs of these two commodities in such a manner that production will not be hampered. In the 1980s, Pakistan experienced a golden era of water management in the construction of the canal irrigation system, which was developed at the same time; however, the results of different droughts reduced what the system could achieve. The country could only barely emerge from the eye-opening shock of water scarcity that persisted for almost three years from 1999 to 2002. Water scarcity caused over-use of ground water by pumping out this water, consuming an enormous amount of available energy, while the country was already facing a problem with this commodity (Pakistan, 2008–09).Moreover, it has been reported that the availability of water for agriculture is expected to decrease from 72 percent to 62 percent in the period from 1995 to 2020, and globally, a decrease from 87 percent to 73 percent in developing countries was also estimated (Khan et al., 2006). Because Pakistan is an agricultural country, water scarcity in agriculture will have disadvantageous impacts on its economics because agriculture directly subsidizes its GDP, and more than 40 percent of labour is directly or indirectly engaged in this sector (Pakistan, 2008–09). In Pakistan, traditional crops, such as wheat, are planted on a flat basin that is directly flooded with water for irrigation. There are enormous water losses with this type of irrigation. Evaporation and deep percolation losses also cause a severe shortages to crops related to overexploitation of groundwater, encouraging a search for alternative methods of water application to crops, for example, raised bed (RB) technology, to meet water demands.There is a serious challenge for agriculturists to meet the feeding requirements of nine billion people by the middle of the 21st century (FAO, 2009). To produce more food from less water in arid and semi-arid areas is a challenge for today’s agriculture (Shideed, 2011). Water shortage and scarcity cause degradation of land due to rain-fed agriculture (Suleimenov et al., 2011) and lower food production, particularly in the agricultural and semi-agricultural zones of Africa (Fraiture et al., 2010). Approximately 80 percent of the world’s agriculture comprises rain-fed land, which produces 80 percent of the food globally (Falkenmark et al., 2001; Valipour, 2013).In North Africa and West Asia, 95 percent of land is rain-fed, and approximately 40 percent of the land in Uzbekistan has been used due to water shortages, causing despoiled fields (Shaumarov and Birner, 2013; Zakaria et al., 2013). Wheat is an important crop in Pakistan due to its widespread use as food (Iqtidar et al., 2006). In Pakistan, 6.35 million hectares of land are irrigated with canal water, 12.53 million hectares are cultivated through tube wells, and for the remaining 3.59 million hectares, no water is available, for a total 22.45 of million hectares (GOP, 2012). Limited water results in susceptibility to water scarcity conditions, causing wheat biomass to reduce wheat crops (Oweis and Hachum, 2004; Tavakkoli and Oweis, 2004; Xie et al., 2005). Poor and sparsely distributed rainfall in arid regions of Pakistan further aggravates this situation. Losses ranging from very low yields or even complete loss under severe water stress in wheat crops have been well documented (Oweis, 1997). Harvesting and utilization of rain water have been successfully used in many arid regions, using runoff water from the catchment area and delivering it to the collection acreage (Qiang et al., 2006; Short and Lantzke, 2006). Rain water efficiency can be improved with appropriate water harvesting techniques, such as micro-watersheds (Rogelio et al., 2006; Zakaria et al., 2012). Using this technique can increase the capacity of water per unit of crop area and can also increase productivity (Oweis and Hachum, 2003; Ramotra and Giakwad, 2012).

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