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Estimating The Effect Of Water Charge Introduction At Small-Scale Irrigation Schemes In North West Province, South Africa

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  • Speelman, Stijn
  • Buysse, Jeroen
  • Frija, Aymen
  • D'Haese, Marijke F.C.
  • D'Haese, Luc

Abstract

In South Africa water law has recently changed, adopting the principle of water as an economic good, thus levying charges on its use. For small-scale irrigators this is an important change, because currently their water use is entirely subsidized. In the coming years, subsidies will gradually decrease and an essential expected benefit of this policy change is that water use efficiency will rise, leading to reduced consumption and possible reallocation of the water saved. The exact impact of the water pricing policy on the irrigation water use or on the farmers' production system is however unclear. This study introduces a new methodology, based on data envelopment analysis, that allows estimating the effects on the agricultural production process and water demand of introducing or raising a water price. It is revealed that a large majority of the farmers does not adjust water use. Production costs however were shown to increase significantly.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European Association of Agricultural Economists in its series 107th Seminar, January 30-February 1, 2008, Sevilla, Spain with number 6646.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ags:eaa107:6646

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Keywords: Production Economics; Resource /Energy Economics and Policy;

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  1. Gomez-Limon, J. A. & Berbel, J., 2000. "Multicriteria analysis of derived water demand functions: a Spanish case study," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 49-72, January.
  2. Fraser, I. & Cordina, D., 1999. "An application of data envelopment analysis to irrigated dairy farms in Northern Victoria, Australia," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 267-282, March.
  3. Perret, Sylvain R., 2002. "Water Policies And Smallholding Irrigation Schemes In South Africa: A History And New Institutional Challenges," Working Papers 18041, University of Pretoria, Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural Development.
  4. Tim Coelli & Sanzidur Rahman & Colin Thirtle, 2002. "Technical, Allocative, Cost and Scale Efficiencies in Bangladesh Rice Cultivation: A Non-parametric Approach," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(3), pages 607-626.
  5. Gomez-Limon, Jose A. & Riesgo, Laura, 2004. "Irrigation water pricing: differential impacts on irrigated farms," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 31(1), pages 47-66, July.
  6. Maniadakis, Nikolaos & Thanassoulis, Emmanuel, 2004. "A cost Malmquist productivity index," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 154(2), pages 396-409, April.
  7. Basanta R. Dhungana & Peter L. Nuthall & Gilbert V. Nartea, 2004. "Measuring the economic inefficiency of Nepalese rice farms using data envelopment analysis," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 48(2), pages 347-369, 06.
  8. Yang, Hong & Zhang, Xiaohe & Zehnder, Alexander J. B., 2003. "Water scarcity, pricing mechanism and institutional reform in northern China irrigated agriculture," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 143-161, June.
  9. Dhungana, Basanta R. & Nuthall, Peter L. & Nartea, Gilbert V., 2004. "Measuring the economic inefficiency of Nepalese rice farms using data envelopment analysis," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 48(2), June.
  10. Berbel, J. & Gomez-Limon, J. A., 2000. "The impact of water-pricing policy in Spain: an analysis of three irrigated areas," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 219-238, March.
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