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3. Agricultural planning in integrated coastal area management

Planning for ICAM must endeavour to cover all relevant sectors as fully as possible. However, coastal ecosystems and economic sectors are complex and often regulated by a range of separate institutions, with different expertise. This complexity makes it impractical for a single institution to carry out detailed planning for ICAM as a single exercise. Once the ICAM strategy and policy options are agreed upon, it is therefore preferable for each subsector to develop its own sectoral plan in conformity with general guidelines.8 The ICAM parts of the various sectoral plans are then negotiated and harmonized through the coordinating institution.9 The purpose of this section is to discuss the specific aspects of the agricultural component of ICAM planning, with particular emphasis on information gathering and analysis.


The information gathering and analysis process should lead to the identification and understanding of:

Indicative list of relevant information themes to be addressed in agricultural planning for ICAM

Main topics


Biophysical environment

Soils, topography, drainage, surface and subsurface water supplies, climate, vegetation and land use

Socio-economic environment



Population size, age and gender distribution, location, growth, migration, literacy, education, health, economic activities, income

Agricultural activities

Kinds, location, employment, natural resource use, kind and value of outputs, production methods and management practices, marketing and processing, seasonal influences, role in household, farming and wider systems

Non-agricultural activities

Range of non-agricultural economic activities, location, employment, natural resource use, output value


Communications, services, markets

Governance characteristics


Institutional and legal aspects

Local, regional and national governmental and non-governmental institutions and customary leadership structures, their goals, responsibilities, activities, membership, authority and capacity; access and rights to land and water; environmental legislation and customary laws, their observance and enforcement; labour regulations

Major stakeholders

Principal social and economic actors and representative groups, their goals and strategies



Impact of agriculture on other sectors

Current and anticipated negative and positive effects of agriculture on other sectors

Impact of other sectors on agriculture

Current and anticipated negative and positive effects of other sectors on agriculture

Constraints, opportunities and possible alternatives

Identification of major constraints and opportunities, identification of conflicts of interest at all levels; identification of possible courses of action and outcomes, analysis of costs and benefits to different stakeholders

Table B.3 gives an indicative list of themes to be addressed in the information collection and analysis process. Although almost all the main topic headings listed should be addressed in any agricultural plan, the level of detail required within each heading will depend upon the planning objectives and scope, and upon the features of the particular area being studied. Clearly, if the planning scope were limited to concern with livestock development, for example, the type and amount of information required on cropping activities would not be the same as for a plan focusing on food crop development. Some information would still be required on cropping activities, however, because of the interactions with livestock production.

3.1.1 The biophysical environment

Soils and water are the chief resources for the majority of agricultural activities, and they are often in short supply in coastal areas. It is therefore essential for planners to obtain adequate information on them. Information on the physical and chemical characteristics of soils, in particular fertility and salinity levels, drainage properties and susceptibility to erosion must be available in the form of narrative reports and maps showing geographic distribution of various types of soil. A detailed topographic map is essential to identify drainage problem areas in coastal lowlands. Information on surface and groundwater resources must make it possible to establish a water balance and identify trends in the quality and quantity of water available to agriculture. Special attention must be paid to salinity levels and to the evolution of the interface between aquifers and sea water.

Apart from basic climatic information, such as precipitation, temperature, relative air humidity, wind speed and solar radiation, it is also important to collect data on storm incidence frequency and magnitude. This information is useful to estimate the feasibility of various agricultural activities and to identify alternative land uses.

Land cover and land-use information facilitates understanding, identification and quantification of the prevailing cropping patterns. However, in many coastal areas, the dominant farm size is small (1 to 3 ha) and many crops are grown in an intricate manner, thus complicating the land cover/use mapping.

Since coastal areas are often narrow strips not exceeding a width of a few kilometres, and are often very heterogeneous, the map scale (for soils, topography, and land cover/use) must be relatively large and should usually vary between 1:5 000 and 1:50 000 according to the desired level of planning detail. Smaller scales (e.g. 1:250 000) are in most cases inadequate, even for regional coastal planning, as they do not provide enough detail on dramatic coastal features such as tidal flats, dune cordons and smaller wetlands.

It must be understood that, if adequate information on soils, water resources, land use and topography is not readily available, it may take several years and considerable amounts of money to generate. These issues should be taken into account in the work plan and the budget. Other sectors participating in ICAM may have such information, pointing to the need for harmonization in order to avoid costly duplication.

3.1.2 The socio-economic environment

The basic socio-economic information consists of detailed data on population. Current agricultural and related non-agricultural land uses, including resource use and direct and indirect outputs, must be well documented. This must also cover agricultural production and management practices and their seasonal changes. There is often considerable diversity in agriculture within an area, in terms of types and size of production unit (some may be large commercial enterprises while others may be small peasant farms), products, production methods and markets. There may be agricultural activities even in the heart of urban areas and they can also constitute an important secondary source of income and food for the urban population (see Box B.6).

Urban agriculture and cross-sectoral linkages

Urban agriculture (e.g. garden plots, animal raising in courtyards and in the street) can be an important source of income and food for urban dwellers in sub-Saharan African cities, yet it has been largely overlooked in agricultural development activities until relatively recently (Scott, 1993). Coastal planners should avoid this error.

The neglect of urban agriculture in planning illustrates how significant issues can be ignored if they do not fit into conventional sectoral categories; planners must be imaginative and unconventional in their data gathering and in their investigation of cross-sectoral activities and interactions. In coastal areas a similar situation may arise where many households practise part-time farming, gaining a large part of their income from non-agricultural activities such as fishing. The agricultural activities of such households are easily overlooked Ð not only may they be classified as fishing households, for example, but it may be very difficult to determine the income gained from agriculture and the resources invested in it.

3.1.3 Governance characteristics

The emphasis on wider environmental issues in agricultural development under ICAM requires particular attention to be given to the institutional and legal aspects of land and water management. This is why it is important to gather information on legislation, customary laws and administrative programmes relating to the environment and resource management.10

The extent of conflict between laws and programmes, their integration and overlap, and their effectiveness in dealing with environmental issues must be examined in the context of public attitudes towards them. It is paramount to identify the major stakeholders in agriculture and their goals and strategies in order for the planning team to involve them in plan development.11 Stakeholders' goals and strategy will probably vary considerably according to their socio-economic category. For example, subsistence farmers, the largest agricultural group in many developing countries, have very different goals and strategies from commercial ones. Box B.7 provides an example of subsistence farmers' strategy for minimizing risk. If farmers' goals and strategies are not properly understood, planning proposals may be irrelevant or may even disrupt the fragile natural resource management systems from which farmers derive their livelihoods.

Subsistence farmers' strategy to overcome soil and climate limitations in Mozambique

In the coastal district of Xai-Xai, Mozambique, subsistence farmers aim to ensure that food is available at all times. Since their storage capacity is very low, both physically (small capacity and destruction of stored produce by pests and diseases) and financially (they sell little and do not store excess production in the form of money), excess production of good years cannot be used substantially to compensate for the deficit during bad years. Farmers' main strategy to achieve food security is therefore to minimize production risks. This strategy is based on the following:

  • Genetic diversity. Farmers grow a variety of herbaceous and tree crops. If one crop fails under given environmental circumstances, another will succeed.
  • Land-use diversity. Farmers diversify their activities and may practise simultaneously crop production, animal husbandry, fishing, production of fermented drinks, collection of reeds in the swamps (to serve in construction), charcoal production ,etc.; if one activity fails others may compensate.
  • Environmental diversity. Whenever possible, farmers cultivate fields that have complementary edaphic characteristics. They cultivate uplands and lowlands; if the weather is too wet, the uplands will produce and vice versa in case of drought. The Xin'tlavane, which is a narrow strip of land forming the transition between the sandy uplands (Sierra) and the wetlands, is particularly popular among farmers because it is too high to be flooded but low enough to benefit from moisture provided by the relatively shallow water-table.
  • Temporal diversity. Farmers prefer to grow two crops Ð one during the cold and one during the hot season Ð rather than a single crop extending across both seasons, hence if weather conditions are not favourable during one season, they may be better during the next and the chances of getting a harvest are thus increased.
  • High mobility. Farmers shift their cropping activities from the uplands to the lowlands according to the prevailing weather (see above). This mobility is made possible by crops such as sweet potato from which the leaves can be harvested as early as two to three weeks after planting the cuttings. These leaves play a key role in food security as they allow farmers to survive until another crop can be harvested.
  • Adaptation to the environment. Drought-resistant crops, such as pigeon pea, groundnut and cowpea, are replanted in sandy uplands. Crops resistant to waterlogging, such as rice and yams, are planted in the wetlands.
  • Adapted management. Farmers cultivate on raised beds in the wetlands, intercrop, etc.
  • Adapted nutritional habits. The importance of leaves in the diet is an important food security measure. Indeed, in case of drought, crops such as cowpea, sweet potato or pumpkin give little fruit/tuber, but their leaves are eaten.
  • Mutual assistance. Farmers have various mutual assistance practices, such as kufunana, by which a group of farmers assist members of the community to carry out their cropping activities, against reciprocity, meals and drinks. This is a very important element in the risk-minimizing strategy because often only limited time is available to complete land preparation and sowing. For example, the heavy clay soils of the alluvial coastal plain can be ploughed (by hand tools or oxen) during a limited time period, because they change quickly from too wet and sticky to too dry and compact.

Source: adapted from Sourji et al., 1995.

3.1.4 Interactions of agriculture with coastal ecosystems and other economic sectors

Gathering information on agricultural interactions with other sectors and the environment is a very important element in agricultural planning for ICAM. As discussed in Section 2, the positive and negative effects of agriculture and other sectors on each other involve complementary, competitive, antagonistic and secondary12 elements that may be reciprocal or one-sided. Box B.8 gives an example of competitive interaction for land. Two major tasks are important in gathering information on interactions: identifying interactions that are significant (actually or potentially) between agricultural and other activities; and obtaining information about these interactions and the activities, institutions and people concerned.

Competition for land between agriculture and coastal wetlands

A major issue in some developing countries is the political and economic pressure to expand agricultural production and cropland areas to provide food for rapidly growing populations. The coastal wetlands in some countries (such as Indonesia) constitute a major land resource with potential for agricultural production. Drainage and reclamation of this land would be very expensive, financially. But more especially, the destruction of coastal ecosystems would affect natural habitats, biological diversity and activities dependent on these ecosystems. Experience in developing such areas for food production has often not been successful, with acid sulphate soils proving difficult to reclaim and manage productively, and particular social difficulties arising from resettlement programmes.

Conflicts of this nature must be resolved at a national level, with national policies (on food and agriculture, environment, water and resettlement, for example) guiding the extent, nature and location of agricultural development in affected coastal areas. If it is decided that coastal wetlands should be drained and developed for agricultural production, reclamation works, agricultural activities and associated infrastructural and residential developments must be conducted in a way that minimizes the area reclaimed, and protects neighbouring wetlands not designated for development.

Until appropriate ICAM structures and planning mechanisms have been set up, agricultural planners must try to identify significant interactions between agriculture and other sectors. The rural poor, particularly women, often obtain their livelihood from a variety of activities in more than one sector. They may have specific insights and be a valuable source of information on multisectoral interactions. Other potential informants on such interactions include planners, administrators, technicians, business people (in both the formal and informal sectors) and workers.

Adequate attention must also be given to institutional interactions, as there are likely to be institutions in different sectors with conflicting interests, rights and responsibilities. These may involve conflicts at local, regional, national and even international levels.

All information must be available to all stakeholders and, if necessary, help must be provided to the people affected, in order that they understand it and its implications for them.

Agricultural planners must carry out environmental impact assessments, with special emphasis on the effects of irrigation and drainage projects and of pollution induced by agricultural activities.

Box B.9 provides a checklist of issues to be addressed when investigating current and potential agricultural pollution sources that may affect coastal ecosystems, natural resources and other sectors depending on them.

Information required on agricultural nutrients and pollutants entering river, groundwater and marine systems

Nutrient and pollutant losses from diffuse sources (e.g. cultivated plots):

  • appropriate fertilizer (especially nitrogen and phosphorus), solid/liquid manure and biocide types and application rates, for crops and pastures in relation to soil type and/or other environmental characteristics;
  • historical data on actual fertilizer, manure and biocide application methods, calendars and quantities from farmers, extension services and suppliers (sales figures and their trends);
  • soil fixation levels (including heavy metals), export mechanisms (e.g. surface wash by runoff and/or irrigation water, water percolation, topsoil erosion) and quantification of nutrient and pollutant fluxes from diffuse sources.

Nutrient and pollutant losses from point sources (e.g. dairies, feedlots, processing plants):

  • location, type and number of animals raised, waste treatment, transport and disposal, places and methods of all intensive animal production units;
  • location, type and quantity of agricultural produce processed, waste treatment, places and methods of transport and disposal of all agro-industrial processing plants;
  • export mechanisms and quantification of nutrient and pollutant fluxes from point sources;
  • appropriate waste treatment and disposal methods.

Agricultural sources of sediment load in surface water systems:

  • prevailing erosion types and mechanisms in relation to seasonal weather and vegetation cover conditions;
  • location and extent of agricultural lands that are affected by each type of erosion process;
  • quantification of sediment removal from agricultural lands;
  • current and most appropriate soil conservation methods.

3.1.5 Constraints, opportunities and possible alternatives

Planners must be alert to new agricultural opportunities and constraints arising from new settlement, transport, industrial or tourist developments (Table B.4). Agricultural planners in coastal areas should try to obtain information about developments planned in other sectors and should consult them about agricultural plans. A preliminary analysis of the socio-economic and environmental context and stakeholders should allow planners to identify and select a number of potential agricultural land uses that may merge with other sectors' plans.

Potential opportunities and constraints to coastal agriculture





Increased labour supply and demand for agricultural produce

Competition for land and water; disturbance of adjacent activities

Road, port and airport construction

Access to new land and produce markets; increased demand for agricultural produce; access to input and labour markets

Loss of land; disruption of surface and subsurface water flows; competition for land, water, labour and other resources as other activities move into the area; easier encroachment on fragile forest and coastal ecosystems; increased competition from imported produce

Rural electrification

Employment; local processing; local service industries; expanded range of technological options; area more attractive to skilled staff

Development of non-agricultural enterprises competing for resources

Industrial development

Employment; infrastructural development; increased demand for food and agricultural raw materials

Competition for land, labour, water and capital; air and water pollution

Rising sea levels


Increased flooding bringing physical damage and soil erosion; permanent loss of land to coastal defences, shoreline retreat and relocation of other activities; salt water intrusion into aquifers

Fisheries development

Employment; improved protein supplies

Competition for land, labour and capital; competition with meat products


Employment; improved protein supplies

Competition for land, labour and capital; seepage of saline water; water pollution

Tourism development

Employment; markets for agricultural produce; infrastructural development

Competition for labour, land water and capital; increased imports of foods and beverages

Forestry development

Employment; improved supply of fuelwood and building materials; reduced erosion and runoff

Competition for labour, land and capital; restricted grazing

Thereafter, a land evaluation exercise is usually carried out to determine whether the proposed land uses are suitable in the biophysical and socio-economic context. The final outcome of the land evaluation exercise is a zoning of the coastal area into homogeneous subareas with similar opportunities and constraints for agriculture and other land uses. This information will allow the stakeholders to select the best land-use options (through negotiation and arbitration) and to resolve disagreements and conflicts of interest before the plan proposals are adopted and implemented.

It is very important to identify categories of actors (individuals, institutions, villages, enterprises) with similar interests, activities and problems. Such groups may be classified on the basis of some combination of agro-ecological zoning (location with respect to the coast or a river, climate, soils, type of produce such as grain crops, sugar, dairy cows, or type of secondary activity, fishing for example) and socio-economic features (scale of activities, family farm or private company, household size, male or female household head for example). Once such a classification has been established, it should be used as a basis for further information gathering and analysis, as well as for defining the groups to participate in the planning process.


3.2.1 Aims and objectives

The starting point for any planning must be an understanding and definition of the planning process and objectives. In agricultural planning in coastal areas, broader objectives should be defined with reference to national policies on economic, regional and agricultural development. These policies should be consistent with one another, and they are likely to be pursued through national, regional and sectoral programmes. In addition, coastal agricultural plans should be consistent with these programmes. Difficulties arise when the different programmes are not consistent. Inconsistencies may not be initially apparent, and reassessment of planning objectives may be needed when the planning process is quite advanced. Planning objectives will also be determined by the political, institutional and administrative support for the planning exercise.

Coastal ecosystems are often fragile and can be irreversibly damaged. In application of the precautionary principle,13 measures to avoid possible detrimental effects of agricultural development on coastal ecosystems should feature strongly in coastal area agricultural development plans. Agricultural plans must include objectives on the efficient use of land and water, the appropriation of new land for agriculture, and the maintenance (or restoration) of the water flows and stocks and water quality necessary to support coastal ecosystems, as well as on the use of agrochemicals and many other factors.

These objectives must be reflected throughout the plan in: the description of the situation and agricultural problems and opportunities; the choice of ICAM strategy in the specification of development targets, government interventions and resource requirements; and cost-benefit analysis. It is equally important that these objectives be maintained and made operational throughout plan monitoring and implementation; many of the damaging effects of development activities can be reduced if all activities are carried out in a way that is sensitive to coastal ecosystems.

Plans being formulated in the context of ICAM will often contain some elements that may not be found in more conventional agricultural development plans. Table B.5 summarizes the elements that are necessary to ensure that the plans take a broader account of agriculture's position within, and contribution to, the wider coastal economy and environment. Box B.10 suggests means of designing and implementing improvements in agricultural development activities affecting coastal ecosystems.

Some elements required in agricultural development plans in the context of ICAM

Plan sections

Elements considered in ICAM plans


Sustainable agricultural development


Sustainable development of other sectors


Protection of coastal resources


Social equity

Current situation

Agricultural activities, resources, opportunities and constraint


Interactions and trade-offs with other sectors

Development strategies and interventions

Increased agricultural productivity through improved resource use and management


Encouragement of efficient and sustainable resource use through the provision of advisory services and appropriate regulation of resource usage within the agriculture sector and between sectors


Limitation of negative externalities and promotion of synergistic effects

Development targets

Increased agricultural output while reducing input and resource use


Respect for environmental standards, including water flows and quality


Maintenance of coastal ecosystems

Government activities

Actions in the agriculture sector


Actions in other sectors

Resource requirements

Finance, land, labour force and materials from individuals and private and government organizations in the agriculture and other sectors

Analysis of costs and benefits15

Financial and environmental cost-benefit analysis in the agriculture sector


Valuation of natural resource stocks and usage


Valuation of externalities affecting other sectors

Monitoring and evaluation procedures

Standards and agencies of the agriculture and other sectors

BOX B.10
Actions to improve agricultural development affecting coastal ecosystems


  • plan upland farm layouts to respect natural drainage patterns;
  • encourage sustainable intensification of agriculture on suitable land to reduce pressures on unsuitable dry lands and coastal wetlands;
  • in important coastal wetland habitats, only promote crops that are compatible with wetlands, such as taro or rice;
  • whenever possible, avoid reclamation of important coastal habitat areas for agricultural development;
  • implement soil and water conservation practices to control cropland erosion and surface water runoff;
  • utilize fertilizers and pesticides in a manner that will minimize their loss and transport towards coastal areas;
  • whenever feasible, promote organic fertilizers, biological pest control and non-persistent biocides.

Feedlots, ranching and range management:

  • control livestock population levels on rangelands to avoid denuding the land, soil erosion and sedimentation;
  • require replanting and other erosion control measures on rangeland/ranchlands;
  • impose stringent pollution control practices and standards on feedlots and other concentrated livestock operations;
  • encourage integrated livestock, mixed farming and tree crop systems.

Water development and control:

  • regulate groundwater withdrawal to prevent saltwater intrusion, land subsidence and de-watering of bodies of surface water;
  • utilize non-structural solutions for flood damage control (flood-proofing, raising structures, setback from flooding zone) to the maximum extent possible;
  • design all diversions, dams and impoundment to preserve the existing water quality volume and rate of flow for marshes, estuaries, deltas, etc.;
  • design water diversions to accommodate the seasonal migrations of aquatic fauna up- and downstream;
  • ensure adequate treatment and disposal of wastes.

Source: modified from Moragos et al., 1983.

3.2.2 Interventions and strategic issues

Changes in the external effects of agriculture can be achieved by a change in agricultural activities or by a change in practices (or technology) for existing activities. Which of these is more appropriate will depend upon local circumstances: the availability of alternative and more desirable activities and technologies; the short- and long-term inputs and outputs associated with them; and the way they fit into local production, economic and cultural systems. For example, where slash and burn methods are being used to produce food crops on marginal land, it is unlikely that alternative crops would be accepted by farmers, but less damaging methods of land clearance, cultivation and regeneration in the production of the existing crops might well be. On the other hand, protection of coastal wetlands from encroachment by agricultural cropping activities, will probably best be achieved by placing limits on these activities.

Voluntary, regulatory and incentive approaches may be used to encourage desired changes in activities or practices.14 These approaches may involve subsidies, the provision of services, taxation, regulation and institutional development.

Subsidies. Governments have commonly used subsidies to promote particular development strategies. They have commonly been applied to reduce the cost of farm inputs, to raise farm produce prices or to encourage domestic or export demand. Chemical inputs and machinery, for example, have often been subsidized in order to increase production, and withdrawal of a subsidy can be positive, resulting in a fall in use and abuse of harmful agrochemicals. Subsidies may also be applied through the provision of services (see below). Exchange rate controls can act as a subsidy when they distort the prices of imports and exports: an overvalued domestic currency has the effect of `taxing' exports and `subsidizing' imports. Many subsidies in the agriculture sector are decided at the national policy level and they may not be appropriate in coastal area agricultural development plans. Zone-specific subsidies, on the other hand, may be useful. To take one example, irrigation equipment that allows more efficient use of water and less disruption to water flows in a coastal area might be promoted through subsidizing the development, manufacture or import of the equipment, its purchase or installation price, or credit for its purchase and installation. Many subsidy systems can work against sustainable integrated agricultural development; subsidies that encourage inappropriate land clearance, chemical inputs and drainage and irrigation systems, for example, are common. Subsidy programmes that have such effects should be reviewed.

Provision of services. Agricultural development plans may provide for research, extension, credit, marketing and adequate infrastructure to develop and promote particular activities and technologies. In coastal areas such services may be used to encourage farmers to adopt better soil conservation practices or to use energy sources that do not deplete natural forests. Infrastructure such as roads or irrigation systems may be developed and managed in ways that are intended to minimize damage to soils and water courses. Agro-industrial research may look for ways of reducing effluents from processing plants. Services that are provided to encourage changes in activities and practices in the agriculture (or any other) sector will usually be effective only if users of the services perceive the changes to be in their interests. Recommended practices resulting from research and extension activities must be relevant to farmers' objectives, farming systems and the broader economic and social environment. This in turn calls for the involvement of farmers16 in setting research objectives and in the design, conduct and evaluation of research activities.

Taxation. Taxes are not commonly prescribed by agricultural development plans; as are subsidies, taxes are more commonly applied at national and regional levels. Their introduction can have far-reaching implications on an economy, and there may be practical, legal and institutional difficulties associated with tax collection.

Regulation. Another approach to limiting the negative external effects of agricultural activities is to control and discourage less desirable activities and practices, through regulation of resource use, activities, practices and products. Regulations may be introduced in a number of ways. Fundamental issues concern what should be regulated, what form regulations should take, and who should be responsible for their design and enforcement. These issues are closely related and must be considered together.

What should be regulated? Regulations may address use of resources for undesirable activities and practices, the outputs from such activities or their negative effects. Controls may also be imposed directly on activities and practices. If agricultural activities are upsetting water flows to coastal ecosystems, for example, controls on water use or on particularly wasteful irrigation practices or equipment might be appropriate. Blanket controls on irrigation, however, might prevent the introduction of more efficient irrigation systems.

What form of regulations should be introduced? Land-use planning and zoning17 is a fundamental type of regulation. It may be applied to agricultural activities with or without wider land-use plans for a coastal area as a whole. As applied to agricultural activities, land-use plans may, for example, regulate or prohibit cultivation on steep slopes, near water courses or in coastal wetlands and mangrove swamps. They may require or prohibit irrigation or certain cultivation methods or rotations on different soil types or locations, or set limits on the location of intensive livestock units and agro-industry.

Who should be responsible for regulation? Self-regulation through existing user/producer groups and traditional mechanisms and institutions for managing common property resources is the most effective means of applying regulations, provided that the farmers agree with the objectives.

Institutional development. Taking a definition of institutions as `sets of relationships and rules regarding people's rights and responsibilities', institutional development will often be needed for the effective implementation of subsidies, services, taxation and regulation.18 Particular attention will need to be paid to water rights and to organizational development and coordination.

Water rights. In view of the importance of competition for water in coastal areas, the establishment of appropriate water rights is often of critical importance to agricultural development in coastal areas. Ideally, water rights should be transferable, enforceable, secure and priced to reflect the full social costs of water use (including all economic and environmental costs to society over time). This normally requires that the state owns all water supplies and then grants rights of use to individuals and organizations. Rights may be granted on the basis of previous use or by permits; they may be transferable; and they may be restricted in terms of type of water use permitted, volume allowed or volume to be left in the water supply system. The time period for which rights are held may also vary. Rights may be granted to individual users through water user groups.

Charges for water may be used to encourage more efficient use. Pricing systems may use a flat rate charge or base the charge on some estimate of water use, such as irrigated crop area. Pricing systems that offer users incentives to practise water conservation are not easy to devise.

Organizational development. Integration and coordination of organizations between different sectors is particularly important with regard to water use and land-use planning. Attention has to be given to coordination between organizations working in the agriculture sector, and to the development of local organizations such as farmers' organizations, cooperatives, water user groups or catchment planning groups. Difficulties in coordinating the activities of different government agricultural departments and agencies (research, extension and veterinary services, for example) are well known in integrated agricultural and rural development projects. Effective coordination is particularly important in coastal agricultural development, and structures and mechanisms must be established to encourage it. This may require the pooling of some resources, the division of some responsibilities between organizations and, where no one organization has particular responsibility for a specific issue, the assignment of new responsibilities. Changing responsibilities may require extensive negotiation between organizations and training and reorientation of some staff.

Interventions such as those described above will be effective only if the people involved have the means and the will to make the required changes. Where peasant agriculture is being marginalized and the population dependent on agriculture is increasing, farmers often have no choice but to use whatever resources are available (land, fisheries or wetlands) in whatever way they can to obtain a livelihood. It is then difficult, politically and practically, to enforce regulations, collect taxes or even provide subsidies and services. The only way to reduce the negative impact of agricultural activities is to develop alternative and better livelihoods, either outside agriculture or within the agriculture sector, but with practices that are more productive and less damaging.

Improving the productivity of agricultural activities in favourable areas and developing alternative areas that are suitable for agricultural production are therefore potential strategies to reduce or limit crop production activities that are harmful to coastal areas. In the case of rice production, theoretically the production of upland rice through slash and burn cultivation may be limited if rice yields are increased in irrigated areas, with increased market supplies and lower rice prices. Similarly, the development of inland valley cultivation of rice may provide marginalized farmers with better rice growing opportunities and reduce the need for them to open new land with slash and burn techniques. However, these approaches require marketing and institutional systems that link increases in rice production to lower prices and allow marginalized farmers access to productive land. To be successful, such strategies may require reform of rural policies and institutions (as discussed earlier), including changes in land tenure systems, to give individual farmers and communities more incentives and capacities to invest in sustainable agricultural practices and enterprises. In practice, effective agrarian reform benefiting the poor is very much the exception.

Two fundamental considerations must be addressed in choosing strategies for ICAM in agricultural development planning:

8 See Part A, Section 2.
See Part A, Sections 2.3.4. and 2.4.6 and Figure A.6.

10 See Part A, Sections 1.6, 2.2.3 and 2.2.5.
See Part A, Sections 2.2.2 and 2.3.4, Figure A.8 and Box A.11.
See Tables B.1 and B.2 and also Part A, Section 1.5.

13 See Part A, Section 1.6.3 and Box A.5.

14 See Part A, Box A.26 and Table A.5.

15 See Part A, Boxes A.22, A.23 and A.24.

16 See Part A, Section 2.3.5.

17 See Part A, Section 2.2.5.
See Part A, Section 2.3.5 and Box A.21.

19 See Part A, Box A.2.

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