Rapid appraisal of policies &institutional frameworks for agricultural water management

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The purpose of the country study was to investigate how policies or institutional frameworks affected or would have affected agricultural water management (AWM) programmes or projects between 1985 and 2005. The study was designed with five outputs, namely to: i) articulate key policies that had or would have had impact on AWM over different periods between 1985 and 2005,;ii) articulate key institutional frameworks (legal, regulatory and organizational) that had or would have had impact on AWM over different policy periods between 1985 and 2005; iii) determine quantitatively and/or qualitatively, the impact of policies and institutional frameworks on the access of smallholders to agricultural water, and performance and outcomes of relevant AWM programmes or projects; iv) assess the necessary and optimal stakeholder participation in AWM policy formulation process; and v) document the process of analysis of the policy and institutional framework for AWM. The methodology for carrying out the study involved identification of policies, institutional frameworks and AWM programmes and projects operated between 1985 and 2005. This process was followed by collection of relevant documents relating to the same from concerned programmes, projects, offices, line ministries, the Internet, and conducting limited interviews. Through desk review of documents of several policies, institutional frameworks, programmes and projects, relevant information was extracted. The study found several issues regarding policies and institutional frameworks that had impact on programme and project performance and impact and are explained below. • Policies recognized the importance of agricultural water in increasing agricultural productivity; however, in the past policies (1985 – 1996), agricultural water was envisioned from the perspective of large scale irrigation. Most of the programmes/projects on AWM analyzed in this study lacked the components of rainwater harvesting (RWH). Recently, other components of AWM particularly RWH, which has a strong bearing on smallholder farmers for crop and livestock production, have been recognized in the policy arena. • The issue of linkage to markets, as a policy issue, was not considered in the design of AWM projects, especially those undertaken in the first policy period (1985-1996/97). Such supply biased AWM efforts did not assure farmers of meaningful returns from their investments (labour, land and water). Disconnection to profitable markets undermined farmers’ participation. Even where productivity was improved it was not sustained after the project. This is because of lack of a demand-pull effect that would have assured farmers profitable returns to investment. • The implication of institutional frameworks on AWM is far-reaching. The effects of some regulations might seem to be distant to issues of AWM, but this study has proved otherwise. For instance, the public procurement procedures proved to be the critical problem which affected AWM programmes and projects. Bureaucratic procedures embedded in the public procurement processes with aspects of tendering and contracting, caused serious delays in project implementation. • Furthermore, where the Government, which is the institution managing the procurement, had a share to contribute in the project budget, the disbursement of the funds was not timely and always less than the promised amount. • Most documents of programmes and projects on AWM claimed to have improved access of poor rural people to improved water management. For example, the smallholder development project for marginal areas in Chikuyu irrigation scheme realized yield increment from 1.2 tons/ha before project intervention to 4.0 tons/ha after the project. Interventions of the Traditional Irrigation and Environmental Organization have influenced the willingness of individual farmers to invest in AWM. • Though programmes and projects registered positive impact on poor rural people, participation by farmers in programmes and projects has remained a problem even though the policies and institutional frameworks urge for local participation. Farmers are engaged at some point in the course of the project and are always left out during design, or their views are overruled by the technocrats. For example, in the Usangu Village Irrigation Project, farmers were engaged at the implementation stage during construction of an intake. Although the project started with prior discussion with leaders, the leaders did not convey the message to farmers. iii IMAWESA Policy Study for Tanzania • Stakeholders’ participation has been the strong component in the process of formulation of policies used by this study to draw lessons. Stakeholders were involved from different domains, ranging from technocrats, donors, private sector, public sector, farmers and the general public. From the general public, special groups such as persons with disabilities, persons living with HIV/AIDS, widows, youth and women were involved in the national wide consultation process. Based on the findings, the following policy-relevant recommendations are made: • To fast-track significant and rapid growth in the agriculture sector which is required in poverty reduction, AWM interventions should, apart from conventional irrigation, embark on other components of agricultural water such as RWH and water innovations in rainfed systems. • The paradigm of ‘local participation’ has to be reexamined. A mere presence of farmers in the dialogues that overrule their opinions is not what is meant by participation. Participation of farmers at certain stages especially during implementation as opposed to planning is not participation. The PADEP approach has to be adapted in the future AWM programmes. Smallholder farmers have to identify sub projects and be facilitated to put down proposals and action plans. • Reforms are needed in the regulatory frameworks such as public procurement procedures to make them less bureaucratic. The tendering, contracting and pre-qualification requirements are lengthy and highly procedural. One body can be formed in the agricultural ministry to deal with agriculture-related procurements, as agriculture projects are sensitive to time. • Participation of stakeholders in policy formulation process is vital in determining how the policies will be actualized. Although a good mix of stakeholders was involved in the policy formulation process, the participatory structures were formed on ad hoc basis. We recommend that a standard way of obtaining the mix and contributions be developed that can be adapted in the formulation of different policies




Improved management, Agricultural water, Southern Africa