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Pathways how irrigation water affects crop revenue of smallholder farmers in northwest Ethiopia: A mixed approach

Markose Chekol Zewdie, Steven Van Passel, Michele Moretti, Sofie Annys, Daregot Berihun Tenessa, Zemen Ayalew Ayele, Enyew Adgo Tsegaye, Jan Cools, Amare Sewnet Minale and Jan Nyssen

Agricultural Water Management, 2020, vol. 233, issue C

Abstract: The relationship between irrigation water availability and crop revenue is multifaceted. However, most of the previous studies focused only on the direct effect of irrigation water on crop revenue or considered that the indirect effect passes only through the farmers’ improved farm inputs usage. Nevertheless, unlike previous studies, this study argues that a one-sided argument that irrigation water directly causes high crop revenue or indirectly affects crop revenue only via the farmers’ improved farm inputs usage is incomplete, as irrigation water not only directly contributes to crop revenue but also indirectly conduces to crop revenue via both the type of crops produced and the farmers’ improved farm inputs usage. Considering the previous studies’ limitations, this study investigates pathways how small-scale irrigation water affects crop revenue and identifies challenges of small-scale irrigation farming in Fogera district, Ethiopia. Results endorsed that irrigation water has both direct and indirect effects on crop revenue. The indirect effect is 67 percent of the total effect and it is mediated by both the type of crops produced and farmers’ improved farm inputs usage. The result also indicated that irrigation user farmers have a higher income, more livestock assets and resources and better food, housing, and cloths than the non-users. Moreover, challenges related to agricultural output and input market were identified as the most severe problem followed by crop disease. The findings of our study suggest that to utilize the benefits of irrigation water properly, it is crucial to encourage farmers to use more improved farm inputs and to shift from staple to cash crop production. Moreover, farmers are frequently exposed to cheating by illegal brokers in the output market, therefore it is also important to increase farmers’ accessibility to output and input markets, the quality of improved farm inputs, and the bargaining power of farmers with market information.

Keywords: Small-scale irrigation; Farmers’ livelihood; Structural equation model; Improved farm inputs; Crop type (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:agiwat:v:233:y:2020:i:c:s0378377419317809

DOI: 10.1016/j.agwat.2020.106101

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