Enhancing provisioning ecosystems services through Farmer Institutions
The objective of this project is to enhance the provisioning services of the ecosystem in public irrigation schemes without degrading and if at all possible enhancing other ecosystems services. This project challenges the conventional wisdom where the role/function of Farmer Institutions is limited to irrigation e.g. improve equity, adequacy of water, irrigation service fees, groundwater abstraction etc. The research hypothesis posited is that if farmer institutions are designed and built to enhance the ecosystem, provisioning services in particular, this would lead to a functional, dynamic institution which would better manage the water and land resources (including the irrigation infrastructure). This project capitalizes on the work carried out under Revitalizing Irrigation in Pakistan (RevIIP). We will be partnering with Farmer Institutions in the Hakra Branch Canal located in the South-East of (Pakistan) Punjab. Here we will develop the capacity of these institutions to deliver improved services to their members ranging from on-farm agronomic practices, command area development, canal operation, groundwater monitoring, and irrigation service fee collection. Over the course of the research, we will collect the scientific evidence to support (or otherwise) the research hypothesis.