This film addresses issues of community management in the context of a government-funded irrigation project in Andhra Pradesh, India. It looks at the problems farmers faced as a result of uneven water distribution, and how their greater participation in managing the scheme provided viable solutions. Irrigation was seen as the key to responding to growing pressure to increase food production (01). Yet with the construction of large-scale irrigation systems farmers became recipients and were no longer the planners and operators of their own systems (03). The loss of control over water distribution, combined with poor maintenance of the canal network, meant that those at the head of the system had too much water while those at the tail received too little (10). A meeting was held for farmers from all the villages concerned to discuss the problems and ways of resolving them (24). A map was drawn showing the water outlets and cropping patterns in the irrigated area. After much discussion a consensus was reached regarding water distribution, canal maintenance, and cropping patterns. Penalties for violation were also agreed (28). Having conducted their own analysis of the problems and devised their own solutions the commitment of the farmers was assured (29).
This video will be of interest to those involved in project planning and implementation particularly with regard to irrigation.