Who benefits from irrigation development in India? Implication of irrigation multipliers for irrigation financing uri icon

abstract

  • Who benefits from irrigation development and who should pay the cost? To answer this question we need to know, in addition to the information on farmers' level benefits, the total irrigation benefits derived by the farm and non-farm sectors in the economy. This question is not well addressed in the literature, therefore, we have estimated both direct benefits (farm-level benefits) and total benefits (rural economy-wide benefits) of irrigation in India. Then we compute irrigation multiplier values, which range from 3 to 4.5. This suggests that about two-thirds or more of the benefits from irrigation development have been accrued to the non-farm sector in the Indian economy, a factor that should be considered in developing a rational cost recovery and irrigation financing policy. But so far the discussions on irrigation financing are mostly farmer-centric, neglecting the total benefits and the semi-public good characteristics of irrigation systems. The empirical information on irrigation multipliers derived here has large implications for public policies such as poverty alleviation and food security in the tropics, where rural livelihoods still largely rely on the productivity and performance of irrigated agriculture. Copyright (c) 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

publication date

  • 2007
  • 2007