February 26, 2005

2005: Highlight # 14

While most public irrigation systems are being handed over to communities for improved management, Kashmir is moving in the opposite direction. Shaheen discusses how...

Irrigation Management Transfer

Kashmir in Contrast

F.A. Shaheen

In many parts of the world, the trend is to transfer management of irrigation systems from government to farmers, and this trend is rapidly gaining credibility due to better performance of farmer-managed irrigation systems (FMIS).

However, Kashmir is moving in the opposite direction. The large and ancient network of Zamindari Kuhls (FMIS), which the region was once famous for, now is in a dilapidated condition and these systems are being transferred from farmers to government. A comparative study of the two management regimes shows that government managed irrigation systems (GMIS) are technically sound and perform better than FMIS and that the farmers are no longer interested in or capable of maintaining these age old systems on their own.

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