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An innovative institutional model for sustainable irrigation management of new large scale irrigation schemes was developed in Ethiopia by the Ministry of Water and Energy (MoWE). This model associates empowered water users associations responsible for the Operation and Maintenance (O&M) of the tertiary block units and a private operator competitively contracted by the Ministry to manage the primary and secondary infrastructures for a limited period of time, during which an autonomous O&M entity will be established for the long term sustainable management of the scheme. The Government retains responsibility for financing the construction of the schemes, setting the irrigation service fee and delivering extension services to the beneficiary farmers.

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