Sharing Best-Practice Organisation and Coordination of Water-User Groups in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Viet Nam

Proponent : Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation, Myanmar
Implementing Agency : The Japanese Institute of Irrigation and Drainage (JIID)


Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Viet Nam (CLMV) are primarily agricultural economies. However, agricultural productivity still remains low in these countries. Indeed, providing greater opportunities towards enhancing CLMV countries’ agricultural productivity is necessary, especially in relation to the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) strategic framework. The latter assists CLMV countries to meet ASEAN-wide targets and commitments towards realising the goals of the ASEAN Community.

Japan has been a consistent supporter of the IAI since the adoption of the first IAI Work Plan in 2002. Since 2002, Japan has funded various projects and programmes valued at USD13 million. Japan remains firmly committed to support the IAI Work Plan III (2016-2020), especially in the strategic area on Food and Agriculture. In particular, and as a response to enhancing agricultural productivity, efforts are being undertaken to “increase the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices.” These practices and technologies are expected to “improve yields and competitiveness, while ensuring environmental sustainability.” One of these practices and technologies is on water management and water-use efficiency in agriculture.

What is the project aiming for?

Water is an important agricultural input. Thus, sustainable water-use demands special attention as a growing number of water-use claims are competing with agriculture in CLMV countries. Undertaking this task of promoting sustainable water management are groups of water-users, mostly farmers, called water-user groups. While present in CLMV countries, capacities of these groups are limited. Moreover, glaring challenge points to coordination and organisation of these water-user groups. This project aims to lay down the foundation of capacitating these water-user groups in CLMV countries by:

  • Identifying and assessing water-user groups in each CLMV country, with an emphasis on the organisation and coordination mechanisms;
  • Developing best practices to improve coordination and organisation of water-user groups in CLMV countries; and
  • Conducting a regional workshop to share best practices on coordinating and organising water-user groups.

As you know, Japan has been supporting the IAI for many years, and now I am really happy to see the steady progress that has been made on the IAI Work Plan III. Let me share with you some of the specific projects that Japan is supporting. In last August, JAIF (Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund) fund was approved for the project called Sharing Best Practices of Organisation and Coordination of Water-User Groups in CLMV countries. On Japanese side, this project will be implemented by Japan Institute of Irrigation and Drainage. We hope that Japan’s knowledge and expertise can be shared with our ASEAN counterparts under this project.

Remarks of H.E. Kazuo Sunaga, Ambassador of Japan to ASEAN, in the
8th Consultation Meeting of the IAI Task Force-ASEAN Partners
4 October 2018
Jakarta, Indonesia

As part of the project’s initial set of activities, the JIID has already started an in-country survey (assessment) in Lao PDR in October 2018. The project Sharing Best-Practice Organisation and Coordination of Water-User Groups in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Viet Nam also supports the Vision and Strategic Plan for ASEAN Cooperation in Food, Agriculture and Forestry (2016-2025).

As of 31 December 2018