January 26, 2003

2003: Highlight # 16

Neither practitioners nor researchers have managed to crack the institutional conundrum in canal irrigation. Citing examples from Kerala, Neetha N. discusses different alternatives...

Alternative Irrigation Institutions in Canal-Command

The Case of the Chalakkudy River Diversion Scheme in Kerala

Neetha N.

Despite generating substantial debates on alternative institutional solutions, irrigation reforms introduced are largely confined to transfer of irrigation management to user groups, neglecting the existence and possibilities of other institutions. In reality, a wide range of institutions are involved in the process of production and distribution of irrigation with varied technologies and scales of operation.

The findings from this study indicate an increased production and economic efficiency at the aggregate level with the emergence of alternative institutions, mainly because most of the alternative institutions cater to high-value non-­paddy crops and use water seeping from canal for value addition which would have otherwise been wasted.

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