It is envisaged that the programme will be implemented in the selected LGs. Programme activities will start gradually in 50-60 LGs over the duration of the 4 years and 3 months of implementation period. During this period the programme will provide support to the LGs for the planning, design and construction of irrigation schemes and to follow up the construction phase with agriculture extension and support services, including marketing support. The programme will also support the LGs in policy formulation, preparation of irrigation and agriculture development plans based on the one window approach for the agriculture sector and irrigation sub sector.
The programme will respond to requests of (ad-hoc) irrigation user committees to improve, modernize or provide new small-scale irrigation infrastructure. These may include (a) the improvement, modernization and extension of existing farmer-managed or construction new surface water irrigation systems, (b) pond/tank systems with reticulated pipe conveyance and distribution systems, and (c) pumped (or “lift”) irrigation systems. The programme aims to improve water use efficiency and productivity within customary water withdrawal practices through improved conveyance and use of micro-irrigation application and water conservation technologies as well as the reduction in system O&M.
The programme will empower WUAs to manage the rehabilitation of the infrastructure, operate and maintain their systems without government support, and distribute the water equitably and adequately throughout the command area. WUA executive committees will be reconstituted, as necessary, to ensure equal representation of the head, middle, and tail of the canal system in gravity irrigation systems and to empower women and other disadvantaged farmers to lead in system management.
The programme will focus on capacity, willingness and incentives for increasing the linkages between producers in irrigated schemes and input sellers, traders and buyers of agricultural goods. The programme will work both at the producers end to ensure his or her capacity to produce for a market and with traders and buyers to ensure that they have the knowledge and incentives to engage with the producers of irrigation schemes.