Workshop on small-scale irrigation management and exploitation, on-farm irrigation and methods for fundsupporting theutility of public irrigation products and services
Create date: 08/20/18

In order to share experiences in small-scale and on-farm irrigation management to propose management and exploitation models and methods to support funding for the use of irrigation public products and services to implement the Law on Hydraulic Work, , the General Department of Water Resources cooperated with the Vietnam Academy for Water Resources to organize a workshop on "Small-scale irrigation management and exploitation, on-farm irrigation and methods for finacial supporting the utility of public irrigation products and services” on August 19th 2018.

Attending the workshop, there were Mr. Dong Van Tu - Deputy Director of the Directorate of Water Resources, Mr. Hoang Van Phuc - Department of  Business Finance - Ministry of Finance; representatives from Directorate of Water Resources, Department of Science, Technology and Environment under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development; representatives from provincial Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development, Departments of Water Resources, Irrigation Management Companies who were  representatives for Northern mountainous, Red River Delta and North Central Coast provinces.

On the side of Vietnam Academy for Water Resources, there are Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Vu Viet - Director General, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Tung Phong - Deputy Director General; representatives and leaders of the General Planning Department; leadership representatives and scientific staff of the Center for Participatory Irrigation Management.

Speaking at the Conference, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Tung Phong - Deputy Director said that the Law on Hydraulic Works has changed the position of the Irrigation Sector and is much more important for the extreme occurances in recent times of the weather. The Academy's research work in recent years is to advise the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on issues related to institution, policy, irrigation management and law on hydraulic works. In particular, the Academy joined the Ministry of Construction in developing the Law on Hydraulic Works, including small irrigation, on-farm irrigation and these are two important factors.

Through the presentations of the Academy's research topics; lessons learned from the localities will help the workshop organizers get an overall picture of issues related to the model of grassroots irrigation organizations; the basis for grassroots irrigation can receive State support; irrigation fee allocation mechanism; relationship between grassroots irrigation agencies and state management agencies and related units ...

Assoc. Prof, Dr. Nguyen Tung Phong - Deputy Director General of the Academy wants the delegates at the workshop to focus on discussion, comments and on that basis, the Academy will synthesize comments to propose advice to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Finance to develop support mechanisms for grassroot irrigation organizations.

 

Report on the current situation and proposed model, operational mechanism of the grassroot irrigation organization, MSc. Tran Viet Dung - The Center for Participatory Irrigation Management (CPIM) said that although there are many different types with different names participating in on-farm irrigation system management, but considering the method of investment participation and the Government's support for the on-farm irrigation system, including two main types, which are the management of irrigation systemsfunded by State budget and management ofthose not funded by State budget.

According to Mr. Tran Viet Dung, the main point in small-scale irrigation management and on-farm irrigation is the support of the Government which plays an important role, creating a stable income for some water user organizations. Currently, the management and operation of irrigation systems funded by the Government and the operational efficiency of the water user organizations depend on how the Government supports them. Meanwhile, organizations that are not supported by the Government, the role of village and hamlet management in operation and maintenance of canals in the village, the on-farm canals or the entire canal after the offtake is very large. If water users are willing to pay for service to providers, the organization operates relatively well, but in these organizations, there is still lack of the role of people in monitoring service quality and activities.

The proposed models fully show the participation of water users. However, water users will decide to establish grassroots irrigation organizations. Therefore, Mr. Tran Viet Dung said that for the areas funded by the Government, it is imperative that all water users participate in the grassroots irrigation organization and for those areas where the Government does not support, it is necessary to propagate, encourage people to establish grassroots irrigation organizations to select service-provider or individuals or considered by the Government to partly support the development of grassroots irrigation organizations.

Commenting about the areas suitable to the models, Mr. Tran Viet Dung said: For the Mekong Delta to establish new grassroots irrigation organizations, cooperatives or hire selected cooperative groups or individual of srvice provider. The provinces of the Southeast and Central Coast region, Central Highlands and Red River Delta would be re-established in the form of 100% cooperative members or newly established water-use cooperatives with 100% of water users being members. The Northern mountainous areas need to be transformed into cooperative groups and when they have enough facilities, they will be transformed into cooperatives or districts and communes to organize the order and bidding for services with irrigation works exploition enterprises.

 

Sharing lessons learnt on developing grassroot irrigation organization under the South Nghe An irrigation system, representative of South Nghe An IMC said that the awareness of farmers and water users is the most important factor to ensure that irrigation facilities performs with high efficiency.

Especially, since 2010, the CPIM has supported the company to pilot the PIM project in Kim Lien commune, Nam Dan district, Nghe An province. After the pilot project, water users' awareness has been improved a lot.Local people have awared the role of saving as well as using reasonable water sources for agricultural production. In addition, IMC also pay attention in the improvement of the awareness of employees in the IMC, the relationship between pumping stations and cooperative organizations, the maintenance and reparation of headworks and main canals managed by the IMC,the coordination with local irrigation organizations in dredging of irrigation canal, organizing the campaign for irrigation system maintenance....

Sharing experience on the on-farm irrigation system and the pricing of irrigation products and services in Thai Binh province, the representative of the Thai Binh Department of Irrigation suggested some options for on-farm irrigation systems. It is necessary to develop a staff recruitment policy focusing on key staff, training staff in charge of irrigation for agricultural cooperatives; to set the corridor for protection of irrigation works and to place landmarks for construction positions to ensure the system facilities to be built as designedwhen invested; mobilize all capital sources to upgrade the system in order to enhance its efficiency to meet the irrigation and drainage requirements in the context of climate change and sea level rise ...

Regarding irrigation product and serviceprice, a representative of the Irrigation Department of Thai Binh province said that it is necessary to closely combine economic and social benefits; synchronous implementation of solutions will bring efficiency of State investment capital such as promulgation of a set of technical and economic norms in the management of irrigation works to be applied to water-using cooperative organizations and being the basis for monitoring implementation; propose the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to consider and submit to the Government to increase the support price for the use of public irrigation products and services; The state-owned provincial management agencies should advise the provincial People's Committee to issue documents guiding and directing the specialized departments to enhance the inspection, review and assessment of the current situation of using funding sources, price for public irrigation products and services ...

Report on the current situation and propose methods to allocate funds to use public irrigation products and services, Assoc.Prof.Dr. Doan Doan Tuan - Center for Participatory Irrigation Management, said that although the procedure for allocating irrigation fees is basically ensured according to the regulations of the financial sector, this procedure has not yet fully reflect the quality of service, service process of service providers, lack of supervision role of related units, especially the role of water users or representatives of households using water.

Therefore, Dr. Doan Doan Tuan said that to improve the quality of services, it is necessary to develop and set criteria to assess the service quality of the contract, the way of participation of water users; improve delivery methods to reflect water users' satisfaction with service quality.

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