Strengthening participatory irrigation management in Tajikistan

IWMI Water Policy Brief 41


International Water Management Institute (IWMI). 2018. Strengthening participatory irrigation management in Tajikistan. Colombo, Sri Lanka: International Water Management Institute (IWMI). 8p. (IWMI Water Policy Brief 41). doi: 10.5337/2018.212


Tajikistan has made a significant effort to strengthen its agricultural irrigation systems, which fell into serious disrepair after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the country’s ensuing civil war. With support from international organizations, particularly the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Tajikistan established water user associations (WUAs) throughout the country to foster participatory irrigation management. WUA members are drawn from the thousands of private (dehkan) farms that replaced the enormous collective farms established under Soviet rule. Both the government and USAID provided training to support the establishment of the WUAs. USAID provided longer training in water governance, and supplemented this with formal and informal agricultural extension services. Scientists with the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) recently conducted a series of detailed surveys and economic analyses of WUAs, farms and households in southern Tajikistan to determine the key factors driving the success of participatory irrigation. The researchers were also interested in learning how the increasing out-migration of male labor and the consequent “feminization” of agriculture are affecting water management in Tajikistan.