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Farmer-Managed Irrigation Systems in Nepal at the Crossroads

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Pradhan, Prachanda
Conference: Constituting the Commons: Crafting Sustainable Commons in the New Millennium, the Eighth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Bloomington, Indiana, USA
Conf. Date: May 31-June 4
Date: 2000
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/331
Sector: Agriculture
Region: Middle East & South Asia
Subject(s): IASC
common pool resources
farmer-managed irrigation
resource management
institutional analysis
indigenous institutions
participatory management
water resources
Abstract: "In Nepal, Farmer-Managed Irrigation Systems (FMIS) occupy special status in the national economy and food security system. Out of all irrigated area in Nepal, almost 70% falls under farmer- managed irrigation systems. They are the vibrant systems. The history of FMIS is long and they are still active institutions in Nepal. Hence, FMIS are the national heritage of Nepal. Secondly, FMIS are the symbol of democratic values. The community owning the systems manages the resources on their own. They evolve the rules and regulations on their own and implement them with consensus within the community. Hence, FMIS have a special place in irrigated agriculture in Nepal. "The irrigation sector in Nepal is facing new challenges. FMIS are not an exception. FMIS are facing the challenges brought by population growth, pressure for increased demand on food, environmental degradation and unavailability of local construction materials and competition on the allocation of water. "FMIS are at the crossroads. There are both internal and external challenges to FMIS. The internal challenges are of design, of construction materials due to the depletion of the local construction materials, competition over the use of water, and stagnated economic development. New legislation either ignored the existence FMIS or attempted to bring these systems under the control of local administration; ignoring the need for development of a polycentric system to strengthen the democratic values at the grassroots level and the process of assistance by the government to FMIS."

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