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During 20-30 August 2018, the ten member farmers and officials from FMIST, Nepal visited Thailand to learn improved agriculture practices and to exchange experiences and ideas towards rural development. The objectives were:
- Exchange experiences between two countries in the field of rural development and social activities.
- Expose Nepal participants to socio cultural activities and rural development in Thailand
- Expose future possibilities for establishing joint programs between two countries
Day-1 (August 21, 2018)
Meeting with staff members and dean of PSDS, Rangsit Campus, Thammasat University. The program started with self introduction and orientation about study exchange program in Thailand for Nepal participants.
PSDS Dean Dr. Jitti Mongkolnachaiarunya presented in detail on “Socio, Economic, and Political situations in Thailand”. He also explained about Dr. Puey Ungphakorn and his contribution to Rural Development. The Puey Ungphakorn School of Development Studies (PSDS) was named in memory of Dr. Puey.
Senior Advisor of NGO and CSO movement of Thailand and board of trustee PSDS, Mr. Dej Poomkacha explained about the Rural Reconstruction in Thailand. The role of NGOs (Non Government Organization) for rural development in Thailand.
Nepal Delegate Team Leader, Mr. Rajendra Bir Joshi presented about FMIST, team members and objective of visit in Thailand. He handed over 7 set of books published by FMIST/Nepal to Dean Dr. Jitti for Thammasat University Library.
Nepal participants and staff members of PSDS visited “The Golden Jubilee Museum of Agriculture Office”. This is a Public Organization. The Museum has demonstration of life and livelihood of rural people in Thailand. The highlights of Museum are organic vegetable farming, livestock keeping and rice seedlings transplanting by throwing to field.
Day-2 (August 22, 2018)
We started from hotel early in the morning and visited “Learning Center for Farmers” at Baan Phan Klong, Dontoom District, Nakhon Pathom Province. The community leader Ms. Champee explained about organic farming system. She took us around the agriculture field and collection center. Before cultivation, the farmers and entrepreneurs (e.g. department store) fix the price of agriculture product. The products from farm are processed and classified in three different grades. The Grade-A farm product sell it to Departmental Store for high price, Grade-B to Local Restaurant and Grade-C for local consumption for least price. We stayed overnight in Bang Maemay Homestay, Bang Plama District.
Day-3 (August 23, 2018)
In the morning we travelled to Haad Tanong Municipality, Utai Thani Province. The total agriculture land of 6200 Acre is located in between two rivers Sekaikraun and Javai. They have two crops 1st Paddy (May to Aug.) and 2nd Paddy (4th week of Sept. to Nov.) in flooding area of 2000 Acre. The farmers make decision of 1st Paddy plantation before flooding in September. The paddy variety is gorkor-41 and selling seeds for Bhat 12000 per ton. Mr. Muan Kiewubon is the community leader of 60 farmers in group. The government of Thailand provides agriculture Machineries for the group and agriculture service center provides technical supports.
In the afternoon we visited Agriculture College, Integrated Farm Thai Knowledge of Animal Science Department. The highlights of the college farm were Buffalo Farm, Cow Farm and Goat Farm. We stayed overnight in Topland Hotel, Pitsanuloke Province.
Day-4 (August 24, 2018)
In the morning we had a city tour including Budha temple and Thawee Museum. We visited Banana Cultivation Farm and Dried Banana Selling Group, Jirapor Food Corporation. Maliont variety Banana of 110days was popular. The Jirapor food Company is producing organic banana and dry banana in packets. The drying of green banana in Solar Green House was a success story in Thailand. Overnight in Seeharaj Hotel, Uttaradit Province.
Day-5 (August 25, 2018)
In the morning we travelled to Baan Sapae, JaeHom District, Lampane Province. In this area, we visited hill irrigation system. We had interaction with local farmers about water management. Mr. Kong Bun Chote is the community leader who explained more about the system. The Monks and Community leader were the key persons helping farmers for agriculture development. The farmers have built series of Dams across the river to store water for agriculture. The area is now famous for Bitter Guard Seed. They are selling it for $50.0 per kg to India. The collect Bhat 100 per Acre as a Irrigation Service Fee for maintaining their system. They have supports from non government agency like SVG (Cement Manufacturing Company) business enterprise helping local farmers in technology and development works.
The CSR (Community Social Responsibility) has great role in Thailand for Rural Development. Overnight in Huandalha Resort in Lampoon Province.
Day-6 (August 26, 2018)
We travelled to Chian Mai Province. In the afternoon, we visited Nong Tao Village, Mae Win sub-district, MaeWang District. The traditional hill irrigation system in Thailand. Maetian Irrigation system was initiated 400 years ago by local farmers. There are 4 check Dams across the river for 1000 Acre land for Rice cultivation. The system covers 3000 Acre land. The main crops are Rice, Vegetables, Flower and maize.
Day-7 (August 27, 2018)
A whole day city tour in Chiang Mai. We stayed overnight in B2 Airport Hotel in Chiang Mai.
Day-8 (August 28, 2018)
Morning we travelled back to Bangkok by flight. In the afternoon we visited different places in Bangkok including Beach walk in Pataya.
Day-9 (August 29, 2018)
Program at Thammasat University, Ta Prachan Campus
Morning Session – Sharing information on Nepali Farming System
The program started with self introduction of Nepal participants, Students and Faculty Members of Thammasat University, Ta Prachan Campus. There were about 50 participants. The highlights of program are:
- Introduction to Nepal and FMIST By Rajendra Bir Joshi
- Bagkhor I.S., surkhet, Video clip about Hill Irrigation in Nepal
- Dan B Rayamajhi & Bhola Acharya about their Irrigation System and Agriculture
- Damaodar Khadka – present and past about RJK I. S.
- Shambu Dulal – about NFWUAN and its role for WUAs in Nepal
- Video Clip, Raju Maharjan – sprouted fodder for cattle
- T P Devkota & Ms R Pariyar – Ag. Cooperative and MUS for smallholder farmers
- Mr. R B Karki – about Kalleritar I.S. and agriculture
Question and Answer: followed by students and answered by R.B.Joshi
Afternoon Session – Wrap-up
Dr. Jitti Mongkolnchaiarunyu, Dean PSDS had discussion as to how further collaborative programs can be organized in future. It is agreed that in the early part of 2019, faculty members and farmers from Thailand will visit to Nepal.
List of Participants from Nepal
- Mr. Rajendra Bir Joshi, Senior Divisional Engineer in Department of Irrigation. He is member of FMIST. He is team leader
- Mr. Samundra Sigdel, Field Research Support and Treasurer of FMIST.
- Mr. Ram Bahadur Karki, Chairman of Water Users Association of Kalleritar Irrigation Systems, they grow paddy and vegetables. Hill irrigation system. He is also teacher in local school. Worked hard to rehabilitate canal after2015 Nepal Earthquake. They grow hybrid paddy in the command area of the irrigation system.
- Mrs. Raj Kumari Pariyar, Multiple Water Use System (MUS). Drinking water system is also used for vegetable cultivation. She is social mobilizer in the village.
- Mr. Sambhu Dulal, farmer. Member Secretary of Nepal Federation of Irrigation Water Users Association having membership of over 3000WUAs, Semi-politician
- Mr. Damodar Khadka, Farmer and member of WUA from one of the largest farmer Managed irrigation systems commanding 15000 ha. Speak English, vegetarian,
- Mr. Bhola Acharya, member of WUA of one of the large FMIS in Kapilbastu district, Vegetarian(diabetics patience)
- Mr.Dan Bahadur Rayamajhi, Chairman of Julfetar Irrigation System, Nawalparasi. Active and very reasonable person. Villagers listen to him.
- Mr. Devkota, from Lumle Vegetable marketing cooperatives. They have cooperative Bank as well. He belongs to a village where they have vegetable cultivation from MUS (multiple water use system,)
- Mr. Maharjan, he is engaged in Cow Farming in Kathmandu valley.
Asia Region Biennial IASC Meeting on “Redefining Diversity and Dynamics of Natural Resource Management in Asia”
Asian Regional Biennial IASC meeting at Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), was inaugurated by President of AIT at AIT Conference Center, Bangkok, Thailand. There were over 50 participants from Asian Region having experiences of research and practical implementation of the common resources management. The participant countries include Indonesia, Nepal, India, Thailand, The Philippines, China, Singapore, Pakistan, Vietnam, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Netherland, and USA.
Prof. Ganesh Shivakoti, Director of Ocean, introduced the themes of the conference that have focus on the natural resources management for resources conservation as well as equitable distribution among the people of all levels. The Conference Themes include;
- Understanding diversity in Governing the natural resources
- Community forestry and social ecological system
- Community irrigation and robustness challenges
- Climate Change, Natural Resources Dynamics and Land use challenges
Among these sessions of themes, several speakers and panel discussions were integrated to reinforce the themes on dynamics of natural resources management. The themes discussed in the conference were quite relevant in the context of growing population and depleting natural resources in Asian Region.
The inaugural speech of President of AIT, Prof. Worsak Kanok-Nukulchai is included herewith along with the agenda of the Conference. Those interested for further information on the conference, please contact to:
Ostrom Center for Advanced Natural Resources Management, AIT
The website link contains at present 160 publication items on irrigation, community development and public administration.
The 8th Asian Regional Conference of International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) selected 6 Sub-themes. One of them is on Enabling Water Users Institutions (WUIs) for sustainability of irrigation Systems.
The thrust of the sub-theme is to enable Water Users Institutions (WUIs) for sustainability of irrigation systems which includes performance assessment, enterprising, and sustainability of WUIs; institutional and policy landscape of irrigation / drainage sectors; process and procedure of participatory irrigation development / operation / maintenance in various countries; role of irrigation/ farmers / water users’ organization in improved irrigation system performance; etc. In this sub-theme, many papers were received and presented in the conference. Along with paper presentation, a symposium of eminent luminaries of irrigation development and management was organized focusing on “Nexuses Challenges in Irrigation Institutions”. There were two parts of symposium; one started with key note speeches by Dr. Asit Biswas (video presentation) followed by Dr. Doug Merrey and case study presentation by Engineer Devesh Belbase. The second session was the panel discussion by the event personalities from Nepal, India, China, Japan and Indonesia.
The responsibility of the organization of this symposium was assigned to Farmer Managed Irrigation Systems Promotion Trust (FMIST) and Dr. Prachanda Pradhan, Patron of FMIST took the responsibility of organizing and conducting the symposium in this theme.
A group of like minded people got together and decided to establish a specialized organization which takes care of advocacy and promotional activities of farmer managed irrigation systems of Nepal. Nepal is known for its tradition of farmer managed irrigation systems (FMIS). In this country, farmers are collectively engaged in irrigated agricultural development as an enterprise since time immemorial. There are thousands of FMIS in the country. These FMIS provide irrigation services to 70 percent of the country’s total irrigated area of little over of 1.2 million ha. Hence, FMIS have gained on their own a status that is symbolic of the national heritage in Nepal. They are the mainstay of the country’s food security as well as social and political stability. Mostly, these FMIS are location-specific, indigenous in their management practices and representative of the local organizational needs and services to deliver. FMIS symbolizes grass root democratic institution where community takes responsibility of natural resource management and allocation. They represent a sustained decentralized pattern of organizations. Nepal’s FMIS are indigenous and have autonomous operational characteristics providing basic hope for the sustainable management and development of the nation’s natural resources wherein water is the most precious resource of all.
Despite the country’s national FMIS heritage, there are no dedicated institutional means to recognize the FMIS that have been surviving in the face of social, organizational, economic, technical and environmental challenges. No self-initiated and systemic institutional support exists to facilitate these FMIS to develop their comparative capacity vis-a-vis the challenges. Besides this, these FMIS have largely remained incommunicative to the global community. Such a situation has constrained the FMIS from evolving into a competitive socio-economic entity. Hence, there is a need to conserve and preserve such a national heritage in the form of FMIS as functional institutions in the diverse socio-economic and geo-setting of Nepal.
Taking into consideration of those important features of FMIS, a trust called “ Farmer Managed Irrigation System Promotional Trust” (FMIST) representing members of different disciplines was formed and registered under Association Act of Nepal in 1988. It plays a role of advocacy, promotional and conservation of values embodied in them
- To provide the FMIS increased recognition for their organizational and management innovations, and indigenous knowledge and skills;
- To recognize the value of the FMIS in the wider socio-economic and political context and share information about their institutions;
- To bring them into the global stream of creativity, well being and self-governance in a way that makes themselves aware of the value and uniqueness of their own institutional assets;
- To disseminate the knowledge on FMIS through seminar, workshop and contribution in academic papers; and
- To develop human resources and knowledge base on FMIS through applied research and training.
The specific objectives of the Trust are as follows:
- To recognize one FMIS periodically for its best practice in a specified field that helps in sustainable organization, management and technology of irrigated agricultural system;
- To provide the officials of these FMIS exposure and orientation to the irrigated agricultural system development and management practices;
- To widely disseminate the basic features of the award winning FMIS;
- To conduct and encourage FMIS related research that directly helps to promote a knowledge-base on FMIS through research support grant (RSG); and
- To provide a networking forum for national and international dialogue on FMIS.