Poverty reduction with irrigation investment: An empirical case study from Tigray, Ethiopia
The regional government of Tigray has invested millions of dollars to develop irrigation schemes as a strategy of poverty reduction. However, there has been limited attempt to analyze whether these investments have attained their stated objectives of poverty reduction and overall socio-economic enhancement. Therefore, we endeavor to: (1) evaluate the impacts of access to small-scale irrigation on farm household's income and poverty status, (2) contribute to the scant literature on irrigation and poverty reduction in Ethiopia, and (3) provide information for policy makers. We examine a representative sample of 613 farm households (331 irrigators and 282 non-irrigators) drawn using three-stage stratified sampling with Probability Proportional to Size. We find that the average income of non-irrigating households is less than that of the irrigating households by about 50%. The overall average income gain due to access to irrigation ranges from 4000 Birr to 4500 Birr per household per annum. We find also that farming income is more important to irrigating households than to non-irrigating households, and off-farm income is negatively related with access to irrigation.
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