Conditions for Collective Action: Land Tenure and Farmers' Groups in the Rajasthan Canal Project, The
Rising costs per hectare of new irrigation development have been a major factor in the recent worldwide decline in the rate of irrigation investment. This has been matched by increasing concern, among both governments and multilateral donor agencies, about the poor performance of existing irrigation schemes. One common perception of the cause of this problem is that farmers are not sufficiently involved in the design and management of these programmes. Consequently, there has been an upsurge of enthusiasm for water users' organisations. The complete or partial transfer of irrigation management to water users has come to be regarded as a panacea by irrigation engineers and planners.
However, farmers or water users are often seen as an undifferentiated category. This paper describes how such a perception ignores tenure-based differences among farmers.