Farmer Field School plots are managed by the farmer communities to demonstrate irrigation water saving techniques as well as related farming practices and agricultural improvements. The reorganized along the hydrographic boundaries Associations are responsible for operation and maintenance of their on-farm systems and the demand based distribution of irrigation water among farmers and other water users in a participatory and transparent way.
The project consists of four components financed by the Government of Uzbekistan, the World Bank and the SDC.
The first component - Rural Enterprise Finance is a credit line for farmers provided through participating financial institutions. These loans will be used to finance investments in agricultural machinery, food processing equipment, storage, packaging, provision of agricultural services and inputs. The component also includes technical assistance for capacity building of financial intermediaries and provision of prospective loan applicants’ access to business planning services.
The second component Irrigation and Drainage is aimed at achieving improved irrigation water management and service delivery, through the rehabilitation of critical inter-farm and on-farm irrigation and drainage infrastructure. It will also support 65 Water Consumers’ Associations (WCA) and provide a pilot demonstration of applied modern water management techniques in 7 districts selected by the project. This component is divided into three subcomponents, two of which are funded by Switzerland.
The third component Rural Training and Advisory Services covers the entire area of the 7 provinces selected for RESP II. Within this component training and advisory services to farmers outside of the pilot districts will be provided. Training and advisory services will focus on entrepreneurial, legal, accounting, business and farm management issues, as well as technical aspects. Farmer Training Workshops, Training of Trainers, and specific Mass Media Campaigns will be organized within the framework of this component.
Switzerland’s intervention includes strengthening of WCAs and WCA support services, where technical assistance facilitates WCA’s development and improved on-farm water management. This consist foremost of national and regional expertise to ensure feasibility and appropriateness of advice, support and training provided. The Swiss contribution in subcomponent 2(b) is combined with US$ 2.72 of the WB loan funds for procurement of basic equipment necessary for operation and maintenance works of on-farm irrigation and drainage infrastructures. It builds on pilot experiences and best practices of the former Swiss funded Integrated Water Resources Management project (2001 – 2012) implemented in Fergana Valley.
Furthermore, the Swiss contribution targets supports Improved Irrigation and Drainage Technology. This subcomponent 2(c) focuses on the provision of water extension messages through FFS demonstration and dissemination plots established at 62 WCAs in the selected 7 districts.
The fourth Project Management component is designed to implement, monitor and oversee all project operations.
In 2014 a GEF Project “Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change Mitigation” (USD 12.7 million) was incorporated in the main project to introduce alternative energy sources and energy-saving technologies and to promote technologies and practices to mitigate irrigated land degradation.
Overall supervision of the activities under the two Swiss funded subcomponents are carried out by the Swiss Cooperation Office of the Embassy of Switzerland in close cooperation with the Rural Restructuring Agency and the World Bank.
Participation of Switzerland in the RESP-II project ensures effective combination of IWRM institutional innovations with investments into the rehabilitation of irrigation and drainage infrastructure by the World Bank. This teaming-up promises efficient synergies and enhances impact and outreach of donor interventions.