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A measure for the efficiency of water use and its determinants, a case study of small-scale irrigation schemes in North-West Province, South Africa

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  • Speelman, Stijn
  • D'Haese, Marijke
  • Buysse, Jeroen
  • D'Haese, Luc

Abstract

This paper analyses the efficiency with which water is used in small-scale irrigation schemes in North-West Province in South Africa and studies its determinants. In the study area, small-scale irrigation schemes play an important role in rural development, but the increasing pressure on water resources and the approaching introduction of water charges raise the concern for more efficient water use. With the data envelopment analysis (DEA) techniques used to compute farm-level technical efficiency measures and sub-vector efficiencies for water use, it was shown that under constant returns to scale (CRS) and variable returns to scale (VRS) specification, substantial technical inefficiencies, of 49% and 16%, respectively, exist among farmers. The sub-vector efficiencies for water proved to be even lower, indicating that if farmers became more efficient using the technology currently available, it would be possible to reallocate a fraction of the irrigation water to other water demands without threatening the role of small-scale irrigation. In a second step, Tobit regression techniques were used to examine the relationship between sub-vector efficiency for water and various farm or farmer characteristics. Farm size, landownership, fragmentation, the type of irrigation scheme, crop choice and the irrigation methods applied showed a significant impact on the sub-vector efficiency for water. Such information is valuable for extension services and policy makers since it can help to guide policies towards increased efficiency.

Suggested Citation

  • Speelman, Stijn & D'Haese, Marijke & Buysse, Jeroen & D'Haese, Luc, 2008. "A measure for the efficiency of water use and its determinants, a case study of small-scale irrigation schemes in North-West Province, South Africa," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 98(1), pages 31-39, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:agisys:v:98:y:2008:i:1:p:31-39
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    Cited by:

    1. Pereira, Helga & Marques, Rui Cunha, 2017. "An analytical review of irrigation efficiency measured using deterministic and stochastic models," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 184(C), pages 28-35.
    2. Gadanakis, Yiorgos & Bennett, Richard & Park, Julian & Areal, Francisco Jose, 2015. "Improving productivity and water use efficiency: A case study of farms in England," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 160(C), pages 22-32.
    3. Ali Chebil & Aymen Frija, 2014. "Impact of Improving Irrigation Water Use Efficiency on the Valorization of Water Resources: Case of Irrigated Wheat Production Systems in Central Tunisia," Working Papers 865, Economic Research Forum, revised Nov 2014.
    4. Tang, Jianjun & Folmer, Henk & Xue, Jianhong, 2015. "Technical and allocative efficiency of irrigation water use in the Guanzhong Plain, China," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 43-52.
    5. Liu, John S. & Lu, Louis Y.Y. & Lu, Wen-Min & Lin, Bruce J.Y., 2013. "A survey of DEA applications," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 893-902.
    6. Varghese, Shalet Korattukudy & Veettil, Prakashan Chellattan & Speelman, Stijn & Buysse, Jeroen & Van Huylenbroeck, Guido, 2013. "Estimating the causal effect of water scarcity on the groundwater use efficiency of rice farming in South India," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 55-64.
    7. repec:spr:endesu:v:19:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10668-016-9793-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Atici, Kazim Baris & Podinovski, Victor V., 2015. "Using data envelopment analysis for the assessment of technical efficiency of units with different specialisations: An application to agriculture," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 72-83.
    9. Muhammad Arif Watto & Amin W. Mugera, 2014. "Measuring Production and Irrigation Efficiencies of Rice Farms: Evidence from the Punjab Province, Pakistan," Asian Economic Journal, East Asian Economic Association, vol. 28(3), pages 301-322, September.
    10. Speelman, Stijn & Buysse, Jeroen & Farolfi, Stefano & Frija, Aymen & D'Haese, Marijke & D'Haese, Luc, 2009. "Estimating the impacts of water pricing on smallholder irrigators in North West Province, South Africa," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 96(11), pages 1560-1566, November.
    11. Ismat Ara Begum & Mohammad Jahangir Alam & Jeroen Buysse & Aymen Frija & Guido Van Huylenbroeck, 2012. "Contract farmer and poultry farm efficiency in Bangladesh: a data envelopment analysis," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(28), pages 3737-3747, October.
    12. Frija, Aymen & Chebil, Ali & Abdelkafi, Belhassen, 2012. "Irrigation water use efficiency in collective irrigated schemes of Tunisia: determinants and potential irrigation cost reduction," Agricultural Economics Review, Greek Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 13(1), January.
    13. Chebil, Ali & Frija, Aymen & Abdelkafi, Belhassen, 2010. "Irrigation water use efficiency in collective irrigated schemes of Tunisia: determinants and potential irrigation cost reduction," 2010 AAAE Third Conference/AEASA 48th Conference, September 19-23, 2010, Cape Town, South Africa 96158, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE);Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA).
    14. Baldos, Uris Lantz C. & Hertel, Thomas W., 2012. "Economics of global yield gaps: A spatial analysis," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124978, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

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