Irrigation management transfer in India: The processes and constraints - Paper by IRAP

The paper discusses the evolution of Participatory Irrigation Management (PIM) in India and the need for better irrigation management to prevent water scarcity in many regions in the country.

The paper discusses the evolution of Participatory Irrigation Management (PIM) in India, following the felt need for better irrigation management to prevent water scarcity in many regions in the country.

The irrigation sector was identified as a priority area in the various policy reforms that took place in the water sector in the country.These reforms emphasised the importance of involving end users/farmers in the operation and management of irrigation conveyance systems. 

This led to the establishment of the Farmers Managed Irrigation Systems (FAMIS), which aimed at improving the overall efficiency of the irrigation system, generate a sense of ownership among farmers and to improve the irrigation revenue recovery rate. This laid the seeds for Participatory Irrigation Management (PIM) in India.

The paper discusses the process of implementation of the PIM in three states in India namely, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. The main focus of this paper is on understanding the policy process undertaken in each of these states for PIM and identifying the factors that  can lead to the success or failure of such participatory attempts.

The study reveals that :

  • The success of such programs is highly dependent on effectiveness of the execution and the financial resources available.
  • There are limits on the financial resources available with the government.
  • Governments are dependent on external donors for the full scale implementation of PIM in the respective states.
  • Involvement of the end users in more effective manner with greater autonomy and delegation of authority, can greatly enhance the implementation of the initiative.

Download the paper from the IRAP website.

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