Rani, Jamara and Kulariya are three separate irrigation systems originally constructed by the local farmers. Rani and Kulariya irrigation systems were developed by the farmers between 1896 and 1915. The Jamara system was developed from 1903 onwards. These three irrigation systems were independent, traditionally operated and managed by the indigenous Tharu community. Later on, towards the end of 1986, all these three systems were integrated to Rani, Jamara, Kulariya Irrigation System (RJKIS). The source of water for these irrigation systems is the Karnali river. Farmers have to spend long time and effort especially in dry season to get water in to their canals and distribute to their farmland for irrigation. This tedious diversion work has to be done by the farmers every year. This situation becomes more severe in case the river swings towards the east as it has happened now for several years.
Understanding the gravity of the farmers’ problems, the Government of Nepal, Department of Irrigation, took initiative and carried out studies for its solution. The best feasible recommended solution to this problem as revealed by the study was to construct a permanent side Intake structure on the left bank of Karnali river at Chisapani and a main canal followed by a feeder canal to join Rani, Jamara and Kulariya canals. Consequently, DOI set up Rani, Jamara, Kulariya Irrigation Project (RJKIP) Office at Tikapur, in Kailali District in FY 2066/67 to implement the Project activities. The construction of side intake has been accomplished. The construction of main canal is in the verge of completion. Similarly, an agreement was signed between GoN and the World Bank on October 18, 2011 and closed on September 2018 for the development of Phase –I of the Project. The loan agreement for the Modernization of Rani Jamara Kulariya Irrigation Scheme Phase -2 has been signed on May 10, 2018.
The Phase-II program primarily includes rehabilitation, extension and construction of new canals and structures below secondary level to provide irrigation in the command area of RJKIS and adopt desired irrigation water management practices for the planned cropping pattern. After implementation of Phase-II activities, the command area is expected to increase from existing 11,000 ha to 14,300 ha. Increased command area with reliable year-round irrigation and better water management supported by agricultural development activities will bring in significant increase in agricultural production. This increased production from the project will certainly be helpful to fulfil food-grain requirement at local, regional and national level and backup food security aspect of the nation. Additionally, increased production will lead to increased income and subsequently uplift the living standard of the farmers.
About 42 percent inhabitants of the project area belong to indigenous Tharu community. Implementation of this project will narrow down the regional imbalance and solve serious problem of irrigation faced by the indigenous people. Completion of Main, Feeder, Branch Canals and Phase-II activities will provide a leeway to the farmers for overall development of agriculture.
The Project Development Objectives (PDOs) are to improve irrigation services and to promote improved farming practices for farmers in the irrigated areas of the Rani Jamara Kulariya Irrigation Scheme.
The proposed project is in the Terai (plain) area of Nepal. Located in the Kailali District of the Far Western Development Region, the project covers three municipalities, two at the township levels (Tikapur and Lamki-Chuwa) and one at the village level (Janakinagar). Tikapur Municipality is the main market center in the project area.
The existing Rani Jamara and Kulariya Irrigation Scheme consists of three independent traditional irrigation systems constructed, operated, and managed by the indigenous Tharu community. The ethnic composition of the project area includes Tharus as the dominant group (48 percent) followed by Chhetri (17 percent), Dalit (15 percent), Brahmin (10 percent), and others (7 percent). There are three WUAs for the branch canals, one central committee (WUA federation) that has representations of the three WUAs, in addition to 48 WUCs for the subbranch and tertiary canals.
The target area is the 14,300 ha of the RJK command area. The scheme abstracts water from the Karnali River, a major left-bank tributary of the Ganges River. A majority 48 percent of the households in the RJK command area are members of the indigenous Tharu community. Based on the 2015 Census, agriculture is the main source of livelihood for around 60 percent of the RJK households, whereas around 21.7 percent of the households considered their off-farm daily wages as their main source of livelihood. As per the impact evaluation performed by the MoRJKIP throughout 2017, the majority of households were engaged in agriculture, but 30.4 percent were also engaged in other jobs to supplement their income. As many as 27.4 percent of the households were led by a female. The land that corresponds to the household seasonal cropping patterns is the only area that is currently irrigated, at 9,106.8 ha, with the remaining 2,087.4 ha not being cultivated.
Component 1 will support the construction and modernization of the lower-order irrigation infrastructure, including the subbranch canals, tertiary canals, and watercourses. The activities will include design and execution of irrigation and drainage subsystems below the branch canals and down to the field outlet levels, including not only the irrigation subsystems but also related river training and flood protection works, collector and tertiary drains, and control structures. This component will thus finance the following activities: (a) Provision of technical assistance for design, monitoring of construction works and quality control, and implementation of the environmental management plan; (b) Construction, rehabilitation, and modernization of the lower-order irrigation infrastructure, including subbranch canals, tertiary canals, and watercourses; (c) Design and construction of flood and erosion protection system in the command area; (d) Improvement, upgrade, and maintenance of rural roads and construction of bridges for better access to the agricultural production areas; and (e) Improvement and upgrading of service roads for better access for maintenance and operation of the canals and canal infrastructure.
Component 2 will support two subcomponents: 2a: Strengthening WUAs/WUCs and 2b:Agricultural Production Support.
The activities will include carrying out a program of activities, including capacity building and training to strengthen WUAs/WUCs to assume responsibility for management, operation, and maintenance (MOM) of the modernized system, including proper and equitable distribution of water, water use, development, and implementation of MOM plans; setting ISFs; proper maintenance of records and accounts; promoting citizen engagement (CE) and gender mainstreaming for participatory irrigation management (that is, the aforementioned GoN’s JPM program), a Gender Action Plan (GAP) as part of a Vulnerable Community Development Plan (VCDP), and participatory monitoring, learning, and evaluation. The GAP includes awareness raising, capacity development trainings, farmer field school (FFS), agriculture-based training, small farm machinery support to women members, compensation to female-headed households (FHHs), and so on.
The subcomponent will carry out a series of agriculture-based activities in the project area, building on the capacity developed by Phase 1, which created the Agriculture Component Implementation Unit (ACIU) (under the Department of Agriculture [DoA]) at Tikapur. Phase 2 will support a value chain approach to internalize the gains made in Phase 1 and to sustain agricultural production through the promotion of climate-smart agriculture and livestock practices, crop diversification, postharvest support (storage, grading, and marketing), farmer training, production and block demonstrations and FFS, and other adaptive processes. The agricultural activities will be aligned with the ADS by focusing on high-value crops, taking advantage of the irrigation improvements. This subcomponent will thus finance extension and outreach services (including through sub-grants), technology adoption support (mainly through small performance-based subgrants), soil management practices, plant protection and seed testing mini-lab and equipment, mechanization support (through the provision of matching grants), post-harvest support (including through sub-grants), promotion of livestock activities for income generation and nutrition needs, support program for landless and marginalized poor people, support for marginal and flood-affected land1, training and study visits, and vehicles and logistics. Provision of matching grants will be made through an agreement between the ACIU and the eligible beneficiaries following a fair and transparent process as guided by the Project Implementation Manual (PIM) to be finalized by project effectiveness to ensure compliance with the fiduciary requirements.
Component 3 will support activities to ensure effective project management, including fiduciary and safeguards management and monitoring and evaluation (M&E). This component will also finance the preparation of a potential future Phase 3 to cover the RJK-Lamki extension.