The Small Irrigation Programme (SIP) will develop or improve approximately 15.000 ha in about 1.800 small-scale irrigation systems, benefiting an estimated 30.000 households in 9 districts in Nepal through a community-driven process targeted to the poor, women, and other disadvantaged groups. At least 60% of the beneficiary household will belong to the disadvantaged groups, Small irrigation systems are defined as systems having less than 25 hectares of irrigation area in the hills and mountains and 200 hectares in the Terai. The project will offer optimal 'backward and forward linkages' to farmers for accessing agriculture support services for extension, agriculture inputs and linkage to agriculture production value chains. This will be done through synergy with the SDC funded NASDP and NAMDP projects. It is intended to scale-up by covering all the VDCs in the existing 7 participating districts and the extension in the two adjoining inner Terai districts of Sindhuli and Udaypur depending upon the resources available. To strengthen institutional capacity at district and central level,ensure agreed co-financing from GoN, andto develop a sub-sector approach, where a one-window system is applied in the district for planning, budgeting, implementation and monitoring. The project staff will be well oriented to provide the entire Technical Assistance required both at the district and the national level.
The programme will upscale the experiences and lessons learned under the LILI project for participatory irrigation planning and management and build the capacity of all levels of the Government for small-scale irrigation development. Farmers will form ad-hoc user committees to apply for the project support and after the approval of the requested assistance they will transform their ad-hoc user committees in to formally registered Water User Associations. The programme will provide support for (i) rehabilitation of existing or construction of new run-of-the-river gravity surface water irrigation schemes; (ii) construction of water storage irrigation schemes with pipe conveyance systems; (iii) construction of small lift irrigation schemes; (iv) non-conventional irrigation development, and (v) institutional strengthening and capacity building of both the executing agency as well as the WUAs. The expected impact will be that farmers have increased food security. The expected outcome is that participating farmers increase agricultural production to its full potential. Productivity will be measured through (i) yields of major crops increased by at least 30% in project areas, and (ii) cropping intensity in irrigated areas increased by at least 20%.