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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Revisiting irrigation management transfer : a case study of a Philippine municipality’s experience in transferring irrigation management to farmer associations Bedore, Jennifer Lauren


There is a lack of data and analysis relating to implementation processes and impacts for Irrigation Management Transfer (IMT), particularly at the community level. This is despite the fact that IMT has become one of the most popular trends in irrigation management worldwide. This research fills key gaps in knowledge about IMT in practice, specifically with respect to: (1) the different approaches being used, the constraints to implementation, the impacts on all stakeholders; and (2) the suitability of IMT in different social, political and economic settings, through a case study analysis of the municipality of Plaridel, Bulacan, Philippines. Based on a review of literature focused on the works of the leading experts in IMT, seven 'best practices', with respect to the implementation of IMT, are formulated. Through semi-structured interviews and data collection, the implementation of IMT in Plaridel is then evaluated against these seven 'best practices'. It is found that all seven of the 'best practices' are not currently operational in the municipality and that as a result, there is an extremely high likelihood that Plaridel's farms and Irrigation Associations (IAs) will not be viable in the near future. The main reasons for this being the absence of clearly recognized and sustainable water rights and service and insufficient financial resources provided by the implementing irrigation agency, the National Irrigation Administration (NIA). This study argues that this scenario is likely because NIA is implementing IMT solely to reduce its own financial costs in operating and maintaining Plaridel's irrigation systems and not to improve productivity or the livelihoods of Plaridel's farmers. Plaridel is a cautionary tale to any government that is planning to implement IMT, as it shows how IMT is no quick fix to a financially unviable Irrigation Agency or agricultural sector. Rather it is a difficult, painstaking process that requires substantial financing and commitment.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International