IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Enhancement of capacity of farmer organizations for sustainable irrigation systems in Anuradhapura and Kurunegala districts

Listed author(s):
  • Thiruchelvam, S.
Registered author(s):

    Over the past decades public investment in major, medium and minor irrigation systems has not yielded the expected results. The solution to the growing water crisis lies in the institutional reform of existing social systems so as to manage the demand for water. In recent times, there has been an emphasis on capacity-building of farmer organizations (FO) in irrigation projects. This study focuses on investigating the institutional capacities of FOs in irrigation systems in the Anuradhapura and Kurunegala districts. Primary data was collected from a stratified random sample of 48 FOs selected from major, medium and minor irrigation systems in the Anuradhapura and Kunurnegala districts during 2008. The Group Dynamics Effectiveness Index (GDEI) of FOs was developed by weighing the significance of important parameters and employed in the calculation of the overall effectiveness of FOs. Most of the FO members in both districts were landowners and there was a powerful dominance from farmers. Generally, the marginal participation in FO activities was about 38 % in both districts. The most common causes for the low participation were the lack of accountability and transparency of the functions of FOs. Farmer organizations (FOs) in major and medium irrigation systems had 51 % and 29 % higher GDEI, respectively, than FOs in minor irrigation systems. The values of ‘Gini Coefficients’ in major, medium and minor irrigation systems were 0.38, 0.43 and 0.48, respectively, thus indicating that FOs play an important role in minimizing inequalities among farmers. There was no significant difference in water productivity (0.19–0.20 $/m3) between major and medium irrigation systems, but the water productivity was low (0.07 $/m3) in minor irrigation systems. Farmer organizations (FOs) with medium size (30–40 members) and economically homogeneous members had better irrigation management. Chi-square results show that while the income equity had no significant effect on the overall GDEI, the participation rate and water productivity that reflects the success of operation and maintenance (O & M) had a significant impact of 5 % and 10 % probability levels to the GDEI of FOs. There is a need to establish strong linkages between the FOs and the Irrigation Department for successful irrigation management. The behavioral change that is required to facilitate the adoption of technology can be effected through institutional changes. It is recommended that FOs need a lot of capacity building in technical and institutional issues to sustain the irrigation systems.Length: pp.7-17

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by International Water Management Institute in its series Conference Papers with number h042802.

    in new window

    Date of creation: 2010
    Handle: RePEc:iwt:conppr:h042802
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    127, Sunil Mawatha, Pelawatte, Battaramulla

    Phone: +94-11 2880000
    Fax: +94-11 2786854
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iwt:conppr:h042802. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chandima Gunadasa)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.