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Irrigation and other Factors Contribution to the Agricultural Growth and Development in India: A Cross-State Panel Data Analysis for 1970 to 94
by Madhusudan Bhattarai and A. Narayanamoorthy (word 147kb)

Major points:

The major objective of this study is to bette analyze the contribution of irrigation and other factors to multifactor agricultural productivity and production growth in India. This is done by using the improved analytical methods and actually realized indicators. The findings from this study contribute for methodological development, and for designing an effective and efficient investment and financing policies in irrigation and other sectors of agriculture and rural development in general.


Irrigation Impact on Agricultural Growth and Poverty Alleviation: Macro Level Impact Analyses in India
by Madhusudan Bhattarai and A. Narayanamoorthy (word 95kb)

Major points::

Despite recent controversies in the incremental impact analysis of irrigation and other factor-inputs and their individual contribution to the agricultural growth and rural development process, this study has successfully separated out the incremental marginal impact of these factor-inputs in the variation of agricultural development and poverty measures across the states in India from 1970 to 1994. The empirical results suggest that improvement in irrigation and rural literacy rate are the two most important critical factors for the recent development of agricultural sector as well for the reduction of rural poverty level in India.


Comprehensive Assessment of Socio-Economic Impacts of Agricultural Water Uses: Concepts, Approaches and Analytical Tools
by Intizar Hussain and Madhusudan Bhattarai(Word 278kb)

Despite the significant contribution of irrigated agriculture to increasing food production and to overall socio-economic development, irrigation has come under increasing critism over the past decade for concerns such as socio-economic inequity, social disruptions and environmental changes that are attributed to irrigation development and reservoir construction. Inadequate information on estimates of the full range of costs and benefits and the overall impacts of irrigation has been a major constraint in resolving this controversy. This paper provides a conceptual framework and issues involved in ex post comprehensive assessment of the full range of costs and benefits of agriculture water resources development and management.

Conventional CBA (Cost Benefit Analysis), which is the method used by economists to determine the viability of a project, compares the present value of all current and future costs and benefits of a policy action and the mount by which benefits exceeds costs. Inherent weakness of it is that estimates and comparisons of costs and benefits is limited to directly affected sectors and it neglects distributional impacts of a project, or equity and other related social issues and impacts that cannot be quantified in monetary terms.

This paper describes some of the methods which could be used in carrying out comprehensive socio-economic assessments in water development projects such as how to include environmental concerns, assessment based on "Integrated Water Resources Management" concept, scale issues in Impact Assessment, identification of impacts of irrigation water, quantification and valuation approaches for impacts, estimation of irrigation costs, and other impact related issues.


To price or not to price? Thailand and the stigma of “free water”
by François Molle
(PDF 115kb)

In a context of closing river basins, where most water resources are allocated and depleted, there are strong incentives to place emphasis on water-demand management and to reform the water sector. Theoretically, water pricing has the potential not only to influence users' behaviors towards water saving, but also to contribute to reallocation of water towards more profitable crops or other uses. Pricing water is also a way to recover part of the costs incurred by irrigation infrastructure and its operation. The paper analyzes this rationale in the context of Thailand where the water used in agriculture is free. It investigates the reasons for, and the consequences of, this particular policy, and examines whether the current proposals to establish water fees can be expected to produce benefits that would offset the costs of the reform. It shows that water pricing can hardly be justified in the absence of a wider framework of institutional reform. The prospects for success of such a reform are briefly debated.


The Intricacies of Water Pricing in the Red River Delta, Vietnam
by Jean-Philippe Fontenelle and François Molle
(PDF 123kb)

Many State-run large-scale irrigation schemes worldwide have long been financially supported by public funds. Because of financial squeeze and of the general trend to hand over the management of irrigation schemes to farmers, emphasis is often placed on cost-recovery and on the financial autonomy of these schemes. Water fees, in most countries, generally cover only a part of O&M costs and amount to a small
percentage of the agricultural gross product, typically less than 10%. In some other countries, water supply is free and is considered as State subsidy. However, in situations where irrigation and drainage operations demand the use of pumping devices, operational costs are generally significantly higher, as they include the costs of energy, and water fees tend to be higher than the average. This is the case of the
Red river delta (RRD), where thousands of pumps of all capacities are used in operations of water


The Closure of the Chao Phraya River Basin in Thailand:Its Causes, Consequences and Policy Implications by Francois Molle by (PDF 295kb)

Despite being a tropical country with a monsoonal season, Thailand has now joined a host of countries currently facing water shortages. With the exception of the southern region and some forest areas along the border, hydrologic data show that the annual average rainfall in Thailand varies between 1,100 mm and 1,600 mm. During the 6 driest months of the year, from December to May, the country relies chiefly on the water available in 28 main storage dams. However, only 15 percent of the 200 billion m3 (Bm3) annual runoff remains trapped in the dams (ESCAP, 1991).