سال انتشار: ۱۳۸۶
محل انتشار: چهارمین کنفرانس آسیایی و دهمین سمینار بین المللی مدیریت مشارکتی آبیاری
تعداد صفحات: ۱۶
Herath Manthrithilake – Head, IWMI Central Asia Office, Apt. 123, Dom 6, Murtazaev St, Tashkent 100000, Uzbekistan.
Sandjar Djalalov – Regional Water Program Manager, Swiss Cooperation Office Uzbekistan, 15 Ivleva Str. Tashkent.700100 Uzbekistan.
The Soviet Union has built-up a massive irrigation system in Central Asia, between two main rivers, Amy Darya and Syr Darya rivers draining into Aral Sea. This irrigation system, one of the largest in the world, covering 9.1 million ha, was primarily providing cotton for the Soviet Union. Apart from cotton, wheat, rice, and orchards were providing much needed food and fibre for the locals. The large farms called ‘Sovhoz’ and ‘Kolhoz’ were owned and managed by the government and produced government’s quotas of cotton and grains. Water management authorities, based on administrative districts were responsible for the delivery of water to the farm boarders. Within the farm water and other input management was done by the specialized groups –“brigades” of the farm under a Director. Hence, the water management authorities had only few bulk clients as water users and managed only the main and secondary canals. Water in third and forth order canals which were within the farms were managed by the farm authorities. The O & M works of the systems too, managed with the same accordance. With the dismantling of the large government owned farms along with land reforms, thousands of smallholders, owning from fragment of a hectare to hundreds of hectares hanged onto those tertiary and lower level canals. They do grow cotton, wheat, fruits, vegetables, and variety of other crops in these plots. However, in most countries, still cotton and wheat are favoured by the farmers and in Uzbekistan, these crops are mandatory. Along with land reforms, water sector reforms too, have taken place. Kyrgyzstan was first to introduce Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), water fees, land alienation and established Water Users Associations (WUA), as early as in 1996. Unlike Kyrgyzstan, the Uzbek government still provides services and subsidies to agricultural producers. The organization and management of these services follow the old soviet style centrally planned and controlled systems with very limited or no participation of private sector. Although irrigation services are free of charge, the Uzbek government recovers its irrigation costs and other subsidies through setting prices for wheat and cotton (main cash crops) very low (ADB, 2005). In 2005, Uzbekistan has ordered converting all cooperative farms known as “Shirkaths” to Water User Associations. Irrigation service fees are introduced and pilot tested in few such WUAs in all districts of Uzbekistan. In Tajikistan, reforms were affected by the civil war, which started soon after the independence. Since the end of the civil war, – the late 1990s, the government has pursued liberal policies and the economic growth has been reaching 10.2 percent in 2003 (ADB, 2004). Tajikistan has set a price for irrigation services. However, it is still runs with large government farms along with small private farms, which makes the WUA operation a miserable activity.