What is it about?

The poor performance of government-managed irrigation systems still spills over into developing countries despite numerous attempts to improve efficiency through management transfer to farmers. Weak engagement of farmers in management is identified as one of the underlying causes of poor performance. The purpose of this paper is to examine the factors determining farmers' engagement in irrigation management in the Mubuku smallholder scheme, Uganda.

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Why is it important?

The current institutional setting of the scheme is only partially in line with predefined principles of self-governing irrigation schemes. Farmers are not considered as creating a two-tiered management structure due to the weak enforcement mechanism towards free-riders, insufficient monitoring of resources and activities, lack of effective means of conflict resolution, an underdeveloped de facto institution and lack of organizational layers. Our results indicate that education and household size have a significant and positive impact on farmers' engagement in management, while land size large enough to require employees has a negative and significant impact on engagement.


Our experiences highlight that participatory management is only attractive if the results are well demonstrated. In conclusion, farmers have considerable potential to become more productive and efficient through improved management, but concentrated efforts from development agencies, researchers and decision-makers are required to identify and provide access to enabling factors at different levels

Professor Imre Ferto
Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences: Budapest

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This page is a summary of: Farmers can substantially deploy irrigation potential through improved management environment: enabling factors of farmers' involvement in resource‐efficient irrigation management, Irrigation and Drainage, November 2020, Wiley, DOI: 10.1002/ird.2538.
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