Irrigation and Water Resources Management Project (IWRMP) financed by World Bank as a grant started in March 2008 with the objective of improving irrigated agriculture productivity and management of selected irrigation schemes, and enhance institutional capacity for integrated water resources management in Nepal by the promotion of cropping intensity and productivity of main cereal crops (Rice, Wheat, Maize and Potato) in the selected Farmers Managed Irrigation System (FMIS) and Irrigation Management Transfer (IMT). The primary target beneficiary groups of the project are the Water Users Association/Farmers of the selected project schemes.
Integrated Crop and Water Management Program (ICWMP) is one of the components of IWRMP, which is jointly implemented by Department of Agriculture and Department of Irrigation. The ICWMP has continued to deliver relevant and effective agricultural extension services to farmer groups of selected schemes (sub-projects). In the Fiscal Year 2009/2010 ICWMP has been implemented by partial (29) and full package (49) of agricultural activities in 78 sub projects, spread over 36 districts including High hills, mid hills and terai. For the fiscal year 2012/2013 the ICWMP has been implemented in 209 sub projects of 44 districts covering all the 3 ecological belts of High hills, mid hills and Terai along with investment support grant schemes. In the current fiscal year 220 sub projects are going on.
The main activities in ICWMP are: seasonal planning, farmer's field school, demonstrations on cropping system, farm mechanization and soil management practices, including training and exposure visit, investment support to enhance agricultural productivity, youth employment and social mobilization, in the developed irrigated areas of 44 districts of Nepal. The outcomes of these activities are promising in spite of field level difficulties in input supply, precision advisory services and organized marketing of agriculture commodities. There is evidence that the ICWMP practices, particularly when combined with Investment Support Grant (ISG) for production and post production processing, storage and linking to 220 sub projects market are well adopted and lead to positive livelihoods and economic benefits for farming households. Outcomes include capacity building for ICWMP (due to awareness and training program) leading to sustainability, increased cropping intensity and crop productivity. Demonstration on crop rotation and water management practices lead crop diversification.
Despite of increasing evidence of the adoption of ICWMP and resulting social and economic benefits, the limited ability and resources of disadvantage and poor household to respond to ICWMP opportunity services is an important constraint of IWRMP providing services to the lower income groups.
Improvements in extension advisory services through development of LRPs at sub project level, establishment of input supply depots in relevant sites, capacity building of technical staffs and preparation of safe guard guideline in chemical application are proposed activities in coming days.